Wednesday 29 August 2012


I just had a brilliant weekend in Dublin with my Oz-Bus mates and managed to clock up a few "1st's". 

1 - Had my 1st drink of Guinness.  Reputedly Guinness drunk in Dublin is like Guinness drunk no where else.  Can't comment on that because I've never drunk it before, but I can tell you that it IS wonderful in Dublin! 

2 - Had my 1st experience of a "Comedy Club".  Fantastic. I laughed 'til I nearly fell off my chair.

3 - Went to my 1st Gaelic Football Match.  And not any old match, it was the semi-final between Cork and Donegal.  And not any old venue - it was in Croke Park.  Magic.

4 - Dined at a Marco Pierre White restaurant.  We went their for an "early bird" dinner, so I guess we didn't get the full-on dining experience, but the food was great.

5 - Saw the Tall Ships that had taken part in the Tall Ships Race. 

We also went to an amazing Hooley Show at Johnnie Fox's Pub.  One of the oldest pubs in Ireland and certainly the highest. Our good Oz-Bus friend and host for the weekend, Ciaran, is a friend of the owner, Tony, who showed us around.  It's an amazing venue.  Tony has a veritable smorgasbord of photographs of famous people that have visited, including Bill Clinton (and 6 other Presidents),  Condoleezza Rice,  many Royals and, that very lunchtime, Liam Gallagher of Oasis!

Photo: We were joined by Tony, the owner of Johnnie Foxes, after he gave us a tour of the place, which has been visited by so many famous people over the years including 'Oasis's' Noel Gallagher that day.

And this is quite a rare site - me playing bing!  Tony (of Johnnie Fox's fame) also owns a 2,200 seater boxing/bingo venue. As Jonnie and I got hooked on bingo whilst sailing from China to Alaska last year Ciaran thought it might bring back fond memories! 

Photo: Unfortunately we had no winners in our group but it brought a nice end to an action backed weekend reunion in Dublin.

Ciaran, you did us proud.  How can we top that for a re-union?  Well the answer to that is, of course, it can't be topped.  We have reached the pinnacle.  BUT we still want to meet up because we have forged such a close bond.  So next January it's all up to my place for a little R&R after Christmas. No bells and whisles with this venue, although I may have a few ideas up my sleeve !!!

Thursday 23 August 2012


This one is a little different .......  Two different versions ......  There are Different Morals


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE OLD STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

Channel 7,9, & 10 News, and A Current Affair show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. The country is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Julia Gillard appears on A Current Affair with the grasshopper and everybody cries .  The Green Party stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, We shall overcome. Green Party Leader Christine Milne condemns the ant and blames The Liberals, Capitalism and Global warming for the grasshopper's plight. Wayne Swan exclaims in an interview with TV News that the ant has accrued wealth off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally to gain votes to win an election , the Government drafts the Economic Equity & Anti- Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to consider how his hard work and preparation has affected the Grasshoppers Mana and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated under the Government Land Repo Act and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government confiscated house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant´s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared to Vanuatu, never to be seen again. The grasshopper is found dead in a Drugs related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of Skinhead spiders who terrorise the once prosperous and peaceful, neighbourhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote !


Sunday 12 August 2012


There used to be a TV advert for some sort of "pick-me-up" that went something like "do you feel one degree under?" Well, the answer to that is yes! And that's crazy because I have such a lot of good stuff going on, but I just can't seem to get motivated and have feelings of tremendous lethargy. And the worst thing is that I have so much to be grateful for (and I truly am grateful).

I just came back from a wonderful 2 weeks in Spain with my daughter, granddaughter and their respective families. It was great fun.

And the Olympics have been inspirational. I have loved every minute and relish the fact that there has been a huge up swelling of patriotism (at last). We are such a great nation and it's amazing that for a small island we have achieved so much both now and in the past.

So what's wrong? Is it because I haven't anything to look forward too? I don't believe so. The business ( and, is going remarkably well despite the financial challenges that we have had to face. We have gained a reputation for being an honest, straight forward global accommodation and conference booking service making huge savings on behalf of our leisure and account managed clients. Just what is wanted in the current economic climate. And I have just enough involvement in the company to keep me excited without being overwhelmed with "task" stuff!

And my "private" life is just as exciting.  At the end of this month I am off to Dublin for another Oz-Bus reunion with my good friend Jean. We are also planning to visit the Olympic Park and Stadium before it is broken down and I have also made loose plans to meet up with my friend Sandy and a blogging friend for lunch in London sometime soon.

Mid-September my friend Monica is coming over from Switzerland for a couple of days, I plan to visit my friends Sue and Paul in Spain later in the autumn and the new house build is ready to start imminently.

Oh! and another thing. I had a golf lesson yesterday. I spent 30 minutes hitting balls, learning posture and grip. It was great fun and my coach was very complimentary. She said that I had good eye/ball coordination and assured me that it is very unusual for a novice to consistently hit every ball.

I have plenty to keep me occupied and involved so what's going on? As they say in the States - go figure!