Thursday, 2 December 2010


You gouda be kidding!

This is the communal expletive being muttered throughout Ireland in the run up to the festive season. The Irish Government are planning over 6 billion euros worth of cuts in the 2011 budget. Over double the amount foreseen by the 2010 budget.

In a country with just over 4.5 million inhabitants 6 billion euros doesn't go unnoticed, so in order to soften the budgetary blow the boys in the Dail have come up with a genius idea; Free cheese. It is the season of goodwill after all. They're politicians, not heartless, and most definitely not lacking in calcium.

The free cheese scheme is basically a continuation of the Butter voucher scheme which was phased out in 1999. Many people are outraged by the government's attempt to mend the rift between them and the by now very weary electorate. Some say (mainly Fine Gael party members) that Cowen and cronies are taking a leaf out of Marie Antoinettes book and saying "let them eat cheese".

I personally don't believe that. We all know where that flippant remark left Mrs. Louis XVI, headless and homeless, thats where.

Many are up in arms over the apparently new anti-crisis measure, but it has in fact been in place since 1987. However, the floundering Fianna Fail-ers misguidedly decided to publicize the scheme this year due to their falling popularity with voters.

Irish Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith said the aim of the free cheddar was to "contribute to the well-being of the most deprived citizens." The cheese is of Irish origin and the E.U. have funded the scheme to the prize sum of 818,00 euros.

It's seen primarily as a "social measure", but coincidentally results in the reducing of intervention storage costs at E.U. level. So, if you think about it, it's not really the bargain of the Century - 818,000 euros worth of 'free cheese' that nobody wants in return for 6 billion euros worth of public sector cuts.

But never fear, the numerical genius that is our leader and former Minister for Finance has come forth and said:
"The government's budgetary strategy is on course and the cuts could be managed if people recognise that we are half way through the adjustment and will be two-thirds through by next year."

How reassuring. If the fact that Biffo has finally worked out how to use fractions doesn't instill hope in the Irish nation nothing will.

There is another explanation of course. Perhaps we are just a nation of cynics. Perhaps , the Minister for Agriculture is a Rap lover. states that :
are all ebonic (african-american) slang terms for money. I can just see it now, Brendan Smith (or B-boi as he's known to his 'homies') commenting to a farming constituent "Fo shizzle, that new Massey Ferguson cost some mad cheddar, yo."


Later pimps

And remember, "them bones, them bones, need calcium. Them bones, them bones, need calcium."

Friday, 22 October 2010



Behave in a free or uninhibited manner.


Letting one's hair down was a commonplace part of women's daily activities in the 17th century. The hair was normally pinned up and was let down for brushing or washing. The term used for this at the time was dishevelling. Anyone who is unkempt and generally untidy might now be described as dishevelled but then it applied specifically to hair which was unpinned.

I, on the otherhand, have my own theory on the matter. It's quite similar to the above explanation but just takes it a step further. Recently I happened upon a book of fairytales, but not just any book of fairytales, oh no Sir, it was a book of the ORIGINAL fairytales. In this book I found the subject of today's blog, Rapunzel - the truth behind the braids! So, we are all familiar with this poor Princess' faith. Thanks to her mother's strange pregnancy cravings Rapunzel's father had to hand her over to the local witch at birth. If this wasn't bad enough the diabolical dame forced 'Punzi' to live in a tower high above the town and the cheapskate conjurer wouldn't even fork out for a lousy rope ladder. Punzi had to throw her luscious locks out the window and down the turret so that her captor could shimmy up her braids and hop in to 'Me Lady's' chambers (even en medieval times Hop on/Hop off tourism was a hit). Well one day, Prince Charming was a-wandering in the valley and witnesses the witch's ascent up the tower and as is the way in fairytale land, he instantly falls in love with the follicley gifted Princess. So the following eve the dashing young fellow went to the tower and shouted:

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your hair."

Well, imagine the shock poor Punzi recieved when this hunky young specimen jumped in the window of her towering turret (quite the fallic symbol for a so-called childrens tale) but she obviously came to terms with the shock quite quickly as the Prince's late night tower trysts became more and more frecuent. O.k. so here is where all similarities between modern day Rapunzel and the real Rapunzel end. The Walt Disney-fied, morally correct Princess lets her relationship with her Royal lothario slip when she stupidly asks the witch :

" Why is it so much easier for the Prince to climb up my hair?"

However, in the original story Rapunzel unwittingly asks the wizened old hag:

"Why are my clothes getting so tight around the middle?"

Yes folks, Princess Rapunzel was a 'baby mama'. As a result of "letting her hair down" Rapunzel had:

A) the presence of a very very unattractive person she couldn't wait to get rid of in her bedroom. (the witch)
B) the presence of a handsome stranger she didn't want to get rid of in her bedroom. (the Prince)

Alas, this handsome stranger brought sad tidings to the Princess. She was booted out of home and left bare foot and pregnant in the enchanted forest. So what is the moral of this story?
In the wise words of Pop Princess Beyonce

"If you like it then you should put a ring on it"

Woah woah woah oooh ooh oh ohoh

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Seaside species stuck between a rock and a hard place

Of late, I've been pondering on the lost art of periwinklin' (not to be confused with winkle pickers which are in fact pointy-toed male footwear). I don't know how it came about but one day I went for lunch with a friend and the topic came up. In the blink of an eye I was brought back to a regular enough scene in the summer holidays of an Irish child, known locally as 'yung wan'...and no I'm not of asian descent nor aspire to be the next Karate kid...I'm simply a Kerry culchie. In Spain the summer period is usually defined by the three S's -Sun, - Sea, and -Sand, in Ireland we have the three P's -Paper bag (usually white), Pins (safety pins) and Periwinkles. But, Alas, these little gems have fallen by the wayside, or in the case of the poor periwinkles, by the seaside. As a 'yung wan' I wandered the beach with white paper bag in one hand and moderately large safety pin in the other trying to tease out the promised winkle, but things have changed in Irish seaside society. Upcoming 'yung wans' don't have the foggiest when it comes to these meaty molluscs. If I were to ask my younger sibling what a periwinkle was my bets are that her reply would be ..the latest in designer cocktails, a kind of dry martini dressed up with decorative umbrellas, sparkly sugar cubes and the like. So, basically, todays youth don't eat periwinkles. Can you imagine the critter's dismay...a female periwinkle can lay up to 100,000 eggs at a time...this is not good news for periwinkle society...very high birth rate, very low mortality rate. Anywho...
I have always been led to believe that the periwinkle was a purely Irish phenomenon but it turns out I was very wrong. They exist throughout the whole of the North Atlantic Coast i.e. Ireland, Scotland, Northern Spain and Russia. Then I got to it possible that Periwinkles have personalities? Does their geographical location have an impact on their development? Have they absorbed some of the charachter traits of their respective lands?

The Irish Periwinkle (Latin name ; Periwinklus Drunkus)
A little green around the edges, not very attractive but full of flavour and charachter. Serve with potatoes. Great for parties.

The Scottish Periwinkle (Latin name ; Perwinklus Braveheartus)
Slightly smaller than your average periwinkle but don't let that fool you, this devilish delicacy packs a punch. Makes a good accompaniment for the Periwinklus Drunkus a.k.a the common Irish Periwinkle.

The Spanish Periwinkle (Latin name ; Periwinklus Iberius)
It has a dark brown shell and a very dramatic flavour. For best results use slow cooking techniques, never be in a rush with this periwinkle. The male meat is always superior to that of the female. Warning : may have aphrodisiac effects if consumed with cheap red wine.

And last but not least..

The Russian Periwinkle (Latin name ; Periwinklus Brutus)
This is by far the largest and most aggressive looking of the periwinkle family. Not very popular outside of the Eastern Bloc and has been rapidly losing popularity within the Bloc since the mid 1980's. No nonsense cooking methods only. Usually eaten raw or in Vodka soup. Important note
Don't store Russian periwinkles with other periwinkle species. They are carnivorous and likely to eat their crustacious comrades.

For further info on the common periwinkle please see

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Mother left in car park as couple head off to France

"A couple alerted police at one of Britain's busiest ports after accidentally leaving their elderly mother behind in a car park at Dover while taking a ferry trip to France. The pair made an urgent call to the Port of Dover Police after discovering mid-way across the Channel that their relative was still sitting in the vehicle in the multi-storey car park."

Full article =

This is clearly a case of murder the in laws. Mummikins is being a grade A pain in the ass all the way to Dover and the couple used the age old threat of "Don't make me stop this car young..I mean ...old lady." This was blatantly a rookies error. Those of you with any semblance of wit or self preservation would have guessed by the foot long furrows on this dames face she was probably the genius who invented this parental gem. Anyway, dear mummy-in-law decides that her not so new daughter-in-law is getting way too big for the fake designer boots that HER son had bought for her and calls their bluff.

Now, imagine the scene.....

Dover Port dolesome, dreary and drizzling.

Harried mothers dragging red-nosed children in anoraks eating ice-cream, whilst trying to clean their runny noses on the shoulder of aforementioned anoraks.

Three tense figures in a nearly new navy blue ford escort. A stale yellow air freshner in the shape of a pine tree hanging from the rear view mirror in which the fearsome mother-in-law is glaring into with rage.

Firstly, she has been relegated to the back seat. Her place, as the head of the family, is in the front with her son. Secondly, who wants to go to France. It's full of frogs and french things. She's never really trusted the french you see. Not even during the war. They're all so 'arty farty' which is just the french for being too lazy and hedonistic to get a job or abide by the rules of common decency. In England even the unemployed men had more respectable pursuits i.e. meeting the 'boys' for a few pints down at the 'Dog and Goat', playing darts and putting money on the horses down at the bookies.

Now; cut to the wife...a straight from the bottle red head, wearing a fuschia pink tracksuit top which clashes brilliantly with the magenta lipstick she is applying in the left wing mirror in an effort not to turn around and slap the old hag behind her. Little does she know that she will be exactly like her in about 10-12 years time.

Lo and behold the man himself. In the driver's seat, white knuckled hands wringing the steering wheel in an attempt not to scream at the two battleaxes which were more than likely the cause of his premature hairloss. God he wanted a fag, but since both of them had forced him to give up 5 years previous, even that simple pleasure was lost to him. From the corner of his eye he sees his wife's head jerking strangely and interprets this as a 'get out of the car, I want to scream at you for a moment' gesture.

They get out of the car and she lets off some choice words which he doubts even some of the sailors coming into port are familiar with.

"Come on lovey, she's just an old lady, she has no-one except us. She'll come around. I promise. Lets go grab a quick cuppa and you'll be right as rain again."

Wife's face turns a startling shade of purple and her gestures become more frenzied and violent.

Husband gently nudges her towards the tea vending machine next to the embarking area of the now infamous ferry to France. Husband inserts the necessary coins and watches listlessly as the dirt coloured liquid is poured into the squeaky polystyrene cups.

Wifey needs the bathroom. She makes her way over to the public toilets only to find a substantial queue. Then she spots the ferry toilets. Yes, genius, she'll use those ones. She enters the cubicle, bloody door doesn't shut properly, typical! She shouts over a group of cold and confused foreigners, to her oaf of a husband and tells him to get on the boat and hold the door shut while she pees and adds to her already impressive amount of make-up.

Husband tries to hurry her up a little. She refuses. This continues for 15mins. Finally, she exits the toilet in a cloud of chokingly cheap perfume, just in time to see the crowd of cold and confused foreigners get smaller and smaller, seemingly by magic.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Ok so… there has been a lot of talk about Mr President and the fact that he has received the 2009 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. This debate is quite a difficult one but not for the usual reasons. Its not as a result of the delicacy of the arguments on both sides but because of the crash, bang, whollop that has been Barack Obama’s political career since he ran for office in 2008. Barack is by no means big or brash but peoples reaction to him is. Both during his campaign and his short time in office people have fortunately had someone to look to in crisis, but people...come onnnnn....standing on capitol hill, shouting we love you B while trying to get the perfect trajectory on those granny knickers you bought for just such an occasion is not only going to get you kicked out of your house by the frenziedly foreclosing banks but will more than likely get you booted into a home with padded walls and all the latest in electro-shock hair products...and deservedly so. Democracy is politics for the people BY the people.

People believe in Obama’s power to inspire hope however, they don’t believe that this in itself is enough to earn him title of great peacekeeper of the western world. I think Gandalf and himself have quite a bit in common, they are a little “different” from everyone else who has proceeded them. Gandalf being as mad as a bag of cats but Omni potently wise and Barack being the first black president and unlike his predecessor he can manage himself quite well via the English language. In many other aspects I think the pair are quite similar, now and again they drop out of the media spotlight or in Gandalf’s case out of the hobbits vision line and we begin to forget about them slightly. We worry about Frodo’s growing obsession with ‘his precious’ or the Iranians obsession with uranium and wonder where in the name of all that is Tolken have the white wizard or the black President gone. Then in the height of battle they reappear shining bright on a gleaming horse or a glittering Cadillac One limousine to round up the troops and instil faith into the tired population. We get the hump because here we have been fighting off orcs, wizardry and the financial crisis left, right and centre and they come along trying to rally us up once more…please!! However, what we forget is that all the while we have been bleeding sweating and crying they have been working tirelessly behind the scenes. How many times did Gandalf try to avoid violence, he searched high and low for a diplomatic solution to middle earths impending predicament but in the end he resigned himself to the idea that he had to fight fire with fire and eventually overcame all the prejudices which had emerged in earlier years between fairies, men, goblins and Russians. He regenerated co-operation between different beings, cultures and ways of life. That is exactly what Obama has achieved in HIS FIRST YEAR as president. He has brought the United States back into the International bargaining system. He is slowly but surely eroding the worlds prejudices against America and Americans which have emerged over the past few years. The United States is now a greater participant in international diplomacy. He has taken troops out of Iraq and has ensured that there isn’t a permanent U.S. military base in the country. He travelled to Turkey to speak directly to the Islamic community assuring them that the fight was not against them or their culture but against extremism and the endangering of innocent human life. He is tirelessly working towards a “greener” America in keeping with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On a national scale he has also tried to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats by appointing at least one Republican to the cabinet and seeking the opinion and support of the Republicans. I could go on about the merits of both Gandalf and Obama but I know what you are thinking, what about everything they haven’t done. There are still troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan , Hobbits still have offensively hairy feet …but Mr. President is actively working on getting troops out of both countries and although the START agreement between Russia and the U.S still hasn’t been renewed both countries are still negotiating and WORKING TOGETHER, to erase the iron curtain mentality that still exists between the former U.S.S.R and the West. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Gandalf’s new mission. Spokespersons for all the leading dehairing brands refused to comment on the current discussions between themselves and the mighty one but an anonymous source has told me that the future is not looking bright for the hairy hoofed hobbits. So, blogees whether ye be American, Egyptian or crazy talking tree things, check yo’selves before you wreck yo’selves. Barack Obama is not nor ever will be a wizard or the owner of magical powers (although he did make both Sarah Palin and George W. Bush jnr disappear). For what he has achieved in his short time in office and the difference he has made to the U.S. Foreign policy and image he more than deserves this acolade.

"B...WE LOVE YOU ....(cue swooshing sound indicating a large body of synthetic fabric flying through the air)"