Thursday, August 09, 2007

Are You still here?

Hi followers,

I hope that you are not missing out on the fun.

I have moved over to where the party never stops.

Come on over and take a pew, have your say, sing a song or dance a jig.

I might have a new home but it is the same old Grannymar.

See you soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Moving to a New Home

An acquaintance of mine was chatting away one night and somehow the conversation turned to making plans. She told us that her dad sat the family down every ten years to review the past, list achievements and plan for the next decade. Now I do like to make changes from time to time, but it is more at landmark stages in life than every ten years.

At the end of June my life changed forever. My Elly married George and together they set out on the road of a new stage of their lives and destinies. I hope with the eventuality of gradualness they might increase and multiply. No doubt when that happens I will become the most proud yet boring Grannymar in the Universe. You will of course be the first to know all about it!

In the meantime I needed to find a new focus for my time and energies. I have the time but alas the energy has a mind of its own. I tried chasing Toy-boys, but they ran far too fast for me. There was no hope of me catching up and all I got for my efforts were a hot flush and breathlessness.

So to mark the start of this new era for me I have decided on a face lift. No little tuck here, and little pull there for me, thank you, it is all or nothing! A total new look and image is what I am after something fresh, clean and timeless. So pop on over and take a look:

…and while you are there I might even make you a coffee.

Now let me know what you think of my new look.

I love the line at the bottom 'Grannymar is proudly powered by WordPress '. I certainly need someone to power me up these days!!!

If you follow me via RSS, then don’t forget to update your feeds:



P.S. remember to take note of my new address for future use:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


A young farm lad from North Kerry went to study at University in Dublin, but about one month into the first term, he had foolishly squandered away all of the allowance his parents gave him.

Then he had an idea. He called his daddy. "Dad," he said, "you won't believe the wonders that modern education is coming up with! Why, they actually have a course here at college that will teach our dog Blackie how to talk!"

"That's absolutely amazing," his father says. "Do you think I might get him enrolled on the course?"

"Just send him up here to me with €1,000" the boy says. "I'll get him into the course. So, his father sends the dog and the €1,000.

About 6 weeks later, the money ran out again. The boy called his father again.

"So how's Blackie doing, son," his father asks.

"Awesome, Dad, he's talking up a storm," he says, "but you just won't believe this - they've had such good results with this course that they've started a new one to teach the animals how to READ!"

"READ," says his father, "No kidding! What do I have to do to get him in that course?"

Just send €2,500, I'll get him in the class. His father sends the money.

The boy now has a problem. The Christmas holiday was approaching, his father would find out that the dog could neither talk, nor read. So he shoots the dog. When he gets home for the holiday, his father is all excited.

"Where's Blackie? I just can't wait to see him talk and read something!"

"Dad," the boy says, "I have some bad news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Blackie was in the living room reading the Irish Times, like he usually does. Then he turned to me and asked, ‘is your daddy still messing' around with that little redhead who lives in Tralee?'

The father says, "I hope you SHOT that F*ck*r before he talks to your Mother!"

"I sure did, Dad!"

"That's my boy!"

I am sure that young lad will go far!

Monday, July 23, 2007

If you still need to be convinced…

Yesterday I was on about my difficulties with the English language.
Here are some more examples to mull over:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

9) I did not object to the object.

10) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

11) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

12) They were too close to the door to close it.

13) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

14) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer.

15) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

16) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

17) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

18) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

19) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

20) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What are you UP to?

About two months ago I was buzzed on Skype by a gentleman from Italy. He asked if I had a few minutes to talk to him. It was a dull, boring wet day so I agreed to talk for five minutes or so. He told me his name, where he lived and what he did for a living. Then he asked several questions which I answered without giving away any information.

“Now it is my turn” I said, “Why did you pick me?” He said he looked for an English speaker in the UK and my name came up top of the list. I had a go at that one, I tried several countries, and the list showed up each time in alphabetical order. Now on Skype I do not use either my own name or Grannymar, let me just say the one I use would come after the word Skype on the list! (One day all these names will be a problem as I won’t remember who I am supposed to be!) Again I queried this with Romano Italiano. He assured me he was genuine and asked if I would help him with his English! Now my father always warned me about fellows inviting me to see their etchings, but never anything about helping them with their English! Anyway Romano Italiano was over there in Italy and surely no harm could come to me at this distance. He asked if I had a Webcam, which I don’t, and then he asked and wanted to be assured I was over 18 years of age. He had a webcam and used it so that I was able to see him speak. He has a good voice, pleasing face but seems a very serious chap who seldom smiles!

So what do I do? I was never a teacher. My spelling and grammar are woeful as you all know, so how do I get round this one?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are chocolates or toffees while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

What hope have I when there is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP?"

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the politicians UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, queue UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is bunged UP. We open UP a shop in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! If you wish to be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost ¼ of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP

I could go on and on, but I'll finish UP, because my time is UP, so........... it is time to shut UP....!

Oh . . . one more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?


Thursday, July 19, 2007


My father worked in the Rag-trade. That for the uninitiated is Dublin slang for the clothing business. He had agencies for several Irish, English and Continental Fabrics manufacturers. It was a world of great colour. Fabrics of all kinds were to be seen in our house because that is where my dad had his office. I was always aware of the 'New Colours' a year ahead of them being available. Twice yearly when the new ranges were introduced, each sample had to be numbered and recorded in his ‘little black book’. It was way before Pc’s and laptops. My mother and I were always roped in to help with this work. At times it took three or four evenings to complete the task.

The samples were packed in suitcases that dad delivered to a customer, a couple of days later he collected the cases and hopefully an order. That night the cases were emptied and the samples were refolded and sorted before passing them on to the next customer.

His customers were many and varied, from top Irish Designers to more household names in the Clothing Business. When my father was out my mother or I manned the phone. I became very familiar with the names, voices and characters of designers and manufacturers. I seldom needed to ask them either their name or phone number. Occasionally my father brought me with him on his calls. I had the opportunity to meet many creative people in those years. They were pleased that I remembered them on the phone and made me very welcome.

On occasions they might want to show my father how a fabric looked when it was made up into a garment. Since I was a size 8UK/6US, the size used to make up samples, I was asked to try an outfit on and ‘walk up the floor’. I still remember trying on a brightly coloured trouser suit in a ‘Raj’ style. The trousers were lined and had the zip to the front like men’s slacks. I was more used to buying trousers with the zip at the side. I remarked on these things and was told in a lovely gentle way that a zip should never be inserted in a side seam because it would upset the balance and look of a ladies hip line. The lining was so that the fabric would not rub a lady’s tender legs. That was long before jeans became a regular fashion item.

From those early days I was particular about how clothes fitted and when I brought home a purchase, my father was the one to look it over and pass comments about it. Regularly I was told to ‘Put it on and walk up the floor’. He often teased me about how much they paid me to take an item off the shelf! Mostly he agreed that the clothes that I picked suited me.

I was always comfortable in trousers and have been known to turn out for work wearing them with a shirt and tie. Forty years ago dinner dances were all the go. The men wore ‘Black Tie’ and ladies wore long dresses. I was fond of sewing and made a new dress for each dance.

I remember one particular occasion in the months before I met Jack. The Company I worked for was having a large formal bash. I was undecided whether to go or not, when a colleague and I were asked if we would make up a party with some chaps on secondment from Scotland. A blind date, it would be a first for me, so why not. We made arrangements for all our party to gather and meet at a friend’s house. On the evening in question we girls arrived early to have a drink, a giggle, apply the paint and get dressed for the evening.

The invitations said ‘Black Tie’ and I arrived so dressed! Well I wore black trousers, with a white silk shirt and a bow tie. Over this I had a tailcoat that had belonged to my father. It fitted me well and suited me, even if I say so myself. I had a small weekend case with my dress in it. The girls were so surprised to see what I was wearing that they forgot about my case. I had them convinced that I was dressed and ready and each time the doorbell rang I went to open the door. My garb was the best ‘ice- breaker’ ever and a real talking point. When we were ready to leave I excused myself and quickly changed into my dress. It was just as well it was a crease free fabric!

The whole party were disappointed that I had changed into a dress and they told everyone at the function of my earlier outfit. I was almost sent off to change back into the tailcoat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Now at sixty I have watched fashion come and go over five decades. The first 10 years do not count as I was a child for most of it and wore the clothes my mother provided and told me to wear. Unlike nowadays we were not given a choice and indeed wore items for several consecutive days.

I love to sit with a coffee or a drink and ‘People Watch’. On a fine day it is something I can do for hours. The world is a wonderland of colour shape and diverse styles. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but fashion is certainly in the mind of the wearer! Nowadays we live in a world where ‘Anything goes’ seems to be the mantra. It is not something I am comfortable with. To quote a line from The Mountains of Mourne, a Percy French song – “You could not in truth say if they were bound for a ball or a bath” When this song was written it referred to the ladies in London, nowadays it might refer to either sex of any age, in any place.

I suppose I would divide people into the following groups:

  • Those who drag themselves out of bed in the morning and clamber into the creased bundle they dropped on the floor the previous night.

  • Those who dress because they have to, but with no interest of how they look or if colours clash.

  • Those who take pride in how they look.

  • Those who dress to draw attention to themselves.

For a moment compare it to two presents on a table. One roughly wrapped in wrinkled newsprint and the other carefully wrapped in gift-wrap finished with a nice bow. If you were given a choice which one would you choose?

Men have no problem is showing interest in how ladies look as they walk along the street. They show appreciation in wolf whistles, smiles and long lingering looks. In fact on occasions they have been known to bump into a tree, lamppost or someone walking towards them because they have become so enthralled or distracted by a vision of desire walking past them.

Over the years I have watched from the sidelines:

  • The women who slavishly follow fashion whether or not it suits them. They are prepared to spend a fortune on this season’s look, even when it makes them look, bigger, fatter and older or like mutton dressed as lamb.
  • Those ‘larger’ women who think that anything black and unstructured makes them look thinner, when a tailored outfit would cut the pounds in seconds.
  • Those who spend some time in dressing, doing make-up etc., forgetting to give the back view a glance. If you get a split down the back of your hair while sleeping, it will NOT go away until you wash your hair!
  • The women, who have found their own style, are comfortable and stick with it, always looking well, whether they are thirty or eighty.
  • The women who think that showing off all they have is sexy, when in fact it is actually a turn off.

Now that I have joined the Third Age it does not mean I have lost interest in how men look. Like women’s fashions men’s have changed beyond all recognition from when I was growing up. In my young days men wore a suit, shirt and tie. I know because I grew up in a household with five men and washed, starched and ironed plenty of shirts. The suits in those days were all dark and the majority of shirts were white.

I still think a nicely fitting, well pressed suit looks sexy. But please remember to polish those shoes, the heel as well as the toes. Casual slacks and a sports jacket with an open necked shirt, looks good too. But please, please make sure the trousers are the correct length and not full of concertina folds where they meet your shoes, that just kills the whole effort.

Now I have a major gripe! If you are a well fed guy and show signs of a liking for the beer, avoid at all costs the long- shorts or cut-offs, you know the ones, they reach below the knees, worn with a tee-shirt pulled down over them. These are the fastest turn off ever! They do not hide the paunch only emphasise it. I have even seen them worn with shoes and socks!!!! And these men expect us to find personality behind that lot, forget it guys. It is a major No-no.

My final point is about fashion for pre and pubescent young girls. I know that the fashion industry and peer pressure weigh heavily on what they wear. While in a shop attached to a busy petrol station one day towards the end of term, I saw a young school girl with her uniform skirt hitched up to within inches of modesty. Her mother was in the queue to pay for petrol and sent the young lady to pick up some items from the far end of the shop. This young girl nicely formed and a beauty in the making was completely unaware of the effect she was having on several men in the queue. One of the men was obviously mentally undressing her and taking pleasure in the exercise. I thought for a brief moment of saying something to the mother, I decided against it as I might be considered as an interfering old woman and a prude, and if she became aggressive it might draw even more attention to her daughter.