Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Back to School

Dear Internet,

It’s back to school time here in Ireland, now I know you never went to school – you were just created as the smartest thing in the world with knowledge of anything and everything but for us regular folk school is important.

I was heading to work last Thursday when at the train station there was a mother and her son at the till. She had bought him a return ticket for work that day and was asking what he would need the following week. She looked unsure and nervous, he looked terrified!

He was dressed in a brand new school uniform, perfectly pressed trousers and clutching a new school bag full with books.

Later on the train he happened to sit in from of me, still looking as panicked as ever and looking around frantically at each stop for someone he might know or in the same new uniform. He reminded me so much of first days of school and the memories that I took a sneaky photo of him.

Good luck to all the new kids off to school this week, it will change your life. Stay calm, embrace the new experience and enjoy!


Monday, 22 August 2011

Nothing more than feelings....

Dear Internet,

It's a sad day for Canadian politics today, Mr. Jack Layton has passed away and now I'm just feeling sad.

Just really disappointing news, something that shouldn't come as a surprise considering how poor he looked just a few weeks ago when he stepped down as party leader.

I guess it's a little too close to home with another anniversary just around the corner.

Then I saw this image on another website and it made me feel colorfully better.

Thinking of Jack's family, friends, party members and his many many supporters.


The secret is out....

Dear Internet,

Well I'm going to be an Aunt. Not that has been no secret, I've known since January when we were all called to a meeting at my parents-in-laws and the fantastic news was announced. I'm delighted for Michael and Niamh as I know they have wanted kids for a while and they will be great parents.

The secret was the Baby Shower that I was having for Niamh yesterday. Now, I guess the main thing is that Baby Showers are relatively unheard of in Ireland. But I think they're a nice touch and as they big in America they're starting to catch on over here but I don't think any of the invitees had been to a Baby Shower before or really only a few. But I figured if I (the Canadian - shock and horror) had a shower, all would come and they would be just like - ah well, bless the Canadian, she doesn't know any better and Niamh gets a party and gifts!

Plus I thought this might make up for the fact that on Niamh;'s due date we're heading off on a cruise holiday - now don't go thinking that as soon as we heard we went and booked to be away, the holiday was booked before we found out (yes way back in January). So as Niamh has said, she she's pushing the baby out, we'll be pushing off on a lovely cruise. I don't think we'll miss much, the likelihood of her give birth bang on that date is slim and you aren't allowed to visit in hospital so we might get home right on time!

Anyhow, my thoughts are if this is going to be the first baby shower these Irish have seen I better make it good, step one - diaper cake:

And boy were they impressed! I have a new calling in life as if anyone in Ireland wants one a show-stopper at their Baby Shower just give me a call.

Anyhow, you don't need all the details of the day, just know it was a success. She was surprised, delighted and the center of attentions which was the plan.

Now, if anyone is looking for a similar event, Just call. I do cupcakes and salads as well!


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tickets Booked!

Dear Internet,

Very excited about going to the movies this weekend, I'm sure you're familiar with the In Betweeners what with their popularity online and the number of videos on You Tube but for those friends who are not familiar they need to check it out!

Here's the trailer!

Prepare to laugh at dirty jokes!


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Reading is sexy!

Dear Internet,

I don’t want you to feel like I have been getting my entertainment kicks elsewhere but to be honest lately I have.

As much as I like watching YouTube videos about cats getting in boxes like this guy: http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu how I am a bit in love with. And as much as I am addicted to celebrity news, especially from: www.perezhilton.com. AND as much as I like to watch American television shows the next day – will not reveal how I do this. I do like to read.

I have always been a big reader, I think it’s something that my parents really encouraged when we were little, and every night before we went to bed we were read a story by either my mom or dad. I think this was something that they had read about when they had kids – that if you make reading part of the bedtime routine kids will grow up and continue this tradition. I remember it being a big deal at Christmas time that we were able to bring out the Christmas books – there were special.

Books were a part of my childhood. I had a mom that stayed at home until I was 10 or so and we’d visit the library for the afternoon book reading and take out books from the lending library. I can even remember when I made the move from the kid’s section of the library to the adult section – getting a ‘real’ library card.

We used to take long road journeys when we were growing up, in the winter we would drive from Montreal to Florida – Orlando, Fort Lauderdale or Miami, that was a good 28 hours or so in the car and involved a lot of walkman playing and reading everything from Archie comics, Teen Beat magazines and RL stein and Christopher Pike books – god are either of them still around?! Well, Internet I looked and they are!

Anyhow, where ever I have gone I have opened a Library account and read books, until I can to Ireland. I’m not sure what stopped me here, but instead of borrowing books I started to buy books, www.amazon.co.uk became my friend and I would order books and jigsaw puzzles (I’ll deal with this another day) like a drug. Not to mention regular trips to Eason’s to buy books there too.

But with a two bed apartment and a firm decision to have no shelving in the place (it just creates clutter) I’m running out of space under the bed for my books – this space is normally reserved for the secret stash of shoes.

However it was on our recent cruise that I was finally sold on the Kindle from Amazon. It ticked all my boxes – easy to read, lightweight (many books at the same time – like travelling with a bookcase), and I had just been awarded my bonus at work and there were no designer shoes that were tempting me to buy (the shock and horror!!) so on the ship when everyone got off to visit Rome I logged into amazon.com and bought a Kindle.

Well Internet, I’m sorry to say we have become best friends. And the person who seems to dislike the new friend the most is my Husband. I contently hear “Oh god, more reading!” The Kindle arrived on June 20th and since then I have read over 17 books. I eat them up – I spend a Saturday just reading. I am in love. Now I love my technology and my gadgets but this one has to be hands down one of my favourites.

I splurged and purchased the Kindle leather case with light so I can read in bed at night, it’s been great and I keep waiting for my interest to recede, but for now and for the last 2 months the Kindle has gone everywhere with me, I read on eth train, on the bus, in bed and out in the sun in the park. I can’t wait till our next trip and the first thing I’m doing is filling up my Kindle and taking it with me.

For me, there’s nothing sexier than reading, so pick up a book!


Monday, 15 August 2011

Vacation Countdown 1

Dear Internet,

Today all I can think about is holidays and I only have … let me count…. 13 days of work let until vacation! That is not a lot of alarm clocks! We did take a holiday in June, it’s a bit of a long story but here you go…

We were married last summer in June, back in Canada – It was a perfect day that I’ll talk more about at another time, but as we were married so far away we thought that taking a honeymoon would be a bit of a joke as we had already flown so far to get married to begin with, so we just took a couple of days in a downtown hotel and then headed back to catch up on all the gossip and scandal that we missed cutting cake and posing for photos.

Anyhow, we decided that we would postpone our honeymoon for our first anniversary and go for a week somewhere nice and romantic in June. So in January we started to plan (as I do) and list places to go (another love of mine). The requirements weren’t too picky, I wanted somewhere premium with good service and fancy, I like to be on the beach but don’t like to swim in anything but the pool so it’s nice to look at. Derek on the other hand limited locations much more by requesting that we not go to a typical summer sun holiday location, which knocked out most of Europe and that Canary Islands. Finally together we decided that we wanted to take 1 plane (no stopovers) and that we didn’t want to have a return flight that arrived in the middle of the night at the end of the holiday thereby ruining the rest and relaxation of a week away – who likes to return from Lanzarote at 4am? Not us that’s who!

So we went to visit the travel agent and she suggested Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. All great places until the troubles started at the beginning of the year with the exotic destinations and they because unsafe for tourists. So we decided Morocco and started to look forward to a week away in Agadir.

And everything was going perfect, I bought a travel book, we picked out things to do and places to go for dinner and then in April we received notice from our travel agent that all flights to Morocco were cancelled and to look at arranging another holiday – what the Hell?

At least we got a full refund and ended up after much deliberation and a bit of a spontaneous move booking a Cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. We have been on a cruise before and we didn’t really like it (for various reasons which would not be suitable to discuss here) and we decided that it checked a lot of the boxes and what the hell! So in June for our anniversary and honeymoon we departed Malaga, Spain to Valencia, Spain; Rome, Italy; Livorno, Italy and Agaccio, Corsica. It was lovely. We sat by the pool, read books, ate fantastic food and fought the urge to never, ever leave the ship.

In fact we loved it so much that we returned home and promptly (with days) booked a second cruise for our week off in September where we’re heading to: Venice, Italy; Koper, Slovenia; Ravenna, Italy; Bari, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia. And now I just can’t wait!

Oh, Internet I wish you could come too but everyone deserves a holiday and this will be yours - with the exception of a few tweets but I will be sure to return to fill you in on all of the exciting and not so exciting bits!


PS a few memories....

By the adult only (perfect holiday spot for me) pool:

He can't go long without the phone, on our room balcony:

Departing Malaga, view from the room:

You're on holidays so you can't possibly know what day it is, so we'll let you know on the elevator floor!

Room view of Ajaccio, Corsica from the room

"Tell me why, I don't like Mondays"

Dear Internet,

I’d like to wish you a happy Monday, I’d live even more to tell you that it’s a great day and I’m in great from and that everything is, well, great. But honestly it is sunny and nice outside but I just want to go back to bed. But enough of my moaning, instead I’ll try and look on the bright side of something or just lie and make something up – lie – who me? Oh, Internet you know me so well!

I actually don’t mind Mondays that much, it’s the Tuesdays that I really dislike. I do find that Mondays aren’t too bad as you should be well rested from the weekend and have something nice left over for lunch! And that sentence right there says a whole lot about me, I like to eat and sleep. Wow, just look at the honestly now!

This weekend was odd; there was drinking, movies, eating and trip to a police station and a dentist appointment. See how exciting was that and the best part is I can’t really elaborate on the police part but if you want to know about the movie (Return of the Planet of the Apes) or drinking (Ginger Donkeys) or eating (M&S 2 Can Dine) or the dentist (Husband’s set 3 of 4 in his root canal) then just let me know! And to think I did all of that on Saturday as yesterday I slept all day, except when I ventured out of bed and to the couch for food only to promptly return to bed and to sleep.

Alright, that’s all for now, will be back later!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

You'll be friends!


Dear Internet, I am pleased to introduce you to Empire Avenue.

I hope you'll be friends.

If not please play nice.

Love, Alison

Friday, 12 August 2011

Fancy meeting you here....

Hello Internet, it’s lovely to see you two days in a row!!

So I was having a look at what I was thinking when I last updated this blog, before yesterday’s revelation of course! And my first thought was January 2010 – where have you been?! Second, was I am not a good sick person and third, I have so very much to talk about.

Plenty has happened sing January 2010, other than months and months of time there have been milestones, big ones! So the good news is that I should have plenty to ramble on about other than my somewhat mildly exciting existence but just to tease you how about….. Weddings (I was married in June 2010) a cruise!! (June 2011 postponed honeymoon) and I’m going to be an Aunt (babies are arriving this fall!!)

Anyhow, it’s time to start my day and to decide which if the above great event should be discussed first, I should probably get it all up here in the next few weeks as we’re off on yet another exciting cruise 3 weeks today so I have a deadline and I do better with a deadline (also with threats but you’re far too nice and understanding for that Internet!)

I bid you farewell for new, I have a job to do!


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ah sure why not!

Dear Internet,

I have decided to revisit this lovely spot that I have in the hopes of finally developing some sort of habit of positing.

My ideas have been good, I have sometime sparks for genius that are filled with insight and plenty of humour and yet I still managed to avoid posting it here. If you haven’t already noticed I’m rather humble too!

I haven’t always had it easy and I made some big changes and taken some risks and all these things should be interesting so here it goes, another attempt (possibly my 8 billionth…. But what the hell)

My plan of action and promise to myself and anyone who stumbles upon this blog and says – who is that charming individual, I just need to know every pointless little thing she thinks of and writes about?! I’m going to try and commit again.

I will write, I will post funny stories and pictures. I will write about more than my cat (although he is fantastic and tend to write about him more than my husband but the husband never reads this so he doesn’t know the cat is funnier). I will make a difference. I will write three times per week and they may not all by great, funny posts but the will be real and honest and me.

For some reason I now feel like standing up from my desk and taking a bow.