Sunday, 23 August 2015

A little Cat ........A lesson in French

My Parents and youngest brother, who is 14 are not long back from 10 days holiday in the South of France.  My wee Brother is pretty good at speaking French and was trying to teach my Daddy a few things too.  Who am I kidding, my wee bro is pretty fluent in French.......he got 100% in his French exams and when I told him I wanted to buy him a wee treat, he asked for a French linguistics book to improve his French as he wanted to be able to speak "proper French" and not the French he is taught at school.  Had that been me when someone asked me if I wanted a treat, it probably would have been a book too........but certainly nothing school related.  No way!  But this is the kind of kid Corey is.  He always wants to improve upon everything he does........even when he gets 100% in his exams, lol.  So he's pretty good at speaking the old French.  Oh and did I tell you that he's teaching himself Italian and Russian too?  Yeah, I know!  But that's a completely different story for another day, lol.

Anyway, I digress (with talking up my wee bro as a Super Genius.....which he is to me, lol).  Corey was sitting with my Daddy trying to teach him just some simple things in French which in turn my Daddy would impress my wee Mammy with his multi-lingual prowess.  So, Corey sat very patiently teaching my Daddy how to say,  "A little cat" in French.  He sat repeating and repeating:

 "Un petit chat", "Un petit chat", "Un petit chat"

But it was a bit too much in one sentence for my Daddy who is a pure Northern Ireland man through and through and has only ever spoken English his entire life.  He didn't learn languages at school so never had a chance to learn another language.  But because he wanted to try speaking some French, Corey was more than happy to oblige.

And so, Corey with his everlasting patience decided to break the sentence down for my Daddy even more so he would be able to hear and understand the sentence.  So Corey says, in his beautifully honed French accent;

"Repeat after me........UN"

Daddy replied......"Un" (in his gruff Northern Irish accent)

"Ok, now say "Petit"

And because he pronounced "Un" so well, my Daddy is getting pretty confident in his French speaking abilities.  So he replied  with "PetiT"

"No, no don't pronounce the T so harshly.  It's a soft T, barely audible, if at all.  Pretend the last T isn't even there.  So try again: Petit".

This time my Daddy gets it right and says "Petit".

"That's good.  Now say "Chat, but again with the T barely there are all "

Again Daddy replied with "ChaT" as harsh as ever.  But Corey quickly prompts him again and he tells him how to say it.

So again Daddy says "Chat", with less of a T this time.

"Very good.  Now say, Un petit chat".

And to Corey's amazement my Daddy replies "Un petit chat",

"Brilliant, that's it.  So just repeat that over and over until you remember it perfectly", Corey said.

And with that, Corey goes about his business (building a website of all things!) and my Daddy sits watching tv and every so often says "Un petit chat".

Next morning, Corey and my Daddy are down stairs chatting and having breakfast.  My Mammy comes down to join them and Corey thinks to himself that now is the perfect opportunity for Daddy to impress Mammy with his French skills.  After all, he sat repeating the sentence to himself all night and as its early in the morning, Corey believed it should be still pretty fresh in our Daddy's mind.  So Corey says:

"Daddy why don't you say that sentence in French for Mammy".

"Oh", Mammy replies "What's this about?"

My Daddy sheepishly looks at Corey and says "What sentence?"  My Daddy tends to get a little embarrassed and shy when he is put on the spot, it's actually quite adorable, lol.

Corey says "You know, the one I taught you last night.  Say "a little cat" in French".

So, my wee Daddy with his wee shy face, musters up the best French accent he can and proudly announces to my Mammy.......


Yes, you have read that's English.  And not only is it English and not the French statement he was meant to say, but he repeated exactly what Corey told him to say, in a fictitious French accent.

Well of course as soon as he came out with that, the 3 of them erupted with laughter. The poor man had already forgotten what he was taught the night before and Corey put him on the spot the next morning, so he had to say something.  He must have thought he would get away with it if he put on some kind of strange accent, teehee.

Ahhhhhh my family.  I do love them to bits.  And believe me, this silly story is only a taster of what every day life is like in my family.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this silly little story and it gave you a giggle as much as it did me.  Have a great day whatever you are up to.

Toodles Noodles....Lee xx

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Will I ever do anything from my Pinterest Boards?

Yes, I know.  I'm just like you.  My name is Lee and I am a Pinterestaholic.  There, I said it!  Phew, that felt good!!  First step is admitting it Lee.  Next step is realising that approximately 99% of the things I've pinned on my numerous Pinterest boards will simply sit there and never in fact see the light of day or be seen through to fruition.  I can browse for hours looking at the many wonders of Pinterest, pinning this and that and thinking to myself;

"Ooooooo I could definitely make that." or

"What a great idea for Christmas gifts." OR

"How did I ever cope before this ingenious piece of pin-tasticness?"

Even my Husband is unwittingly benefiting from my Pinterest addiction because any time I now have a laptop problem or I have to switch browsers, he doesn't have one million and one bookmarks in the header of my browser that he has to save and painstakingly ensure that they are all dragged over to whatever new browser I am now using.  Most of the bookmarks I previously had saved were maybe of one wee thing that I happened to find interesting or liked on the whole entire website and the only way to save it or remember where it was, was to Bookmark it on my browser.  Now, they are all just Pinned to my Pinterest Boards and even Scrubby has one less thing to deal with when fixing my laptop.  So really, my Pinterest Addiction is helping not just me.  It's helping all the PC and Mac fixers of the world!!  It's quite a selfless platform really!

However, I've come to realise that all those hours I've lost myself in Pinterest, pinning away until my wee heart is content, has meant that I have pinned hundreds of items to tonnes of boards and ultimately, I have so many pins that I've forgotten half the things I've pinned.  Is this only me?  Am I alone in this?  So because I've forgotten what I've pinned, I have to go back into Pinterest again to remind myself what I've pinned.  Then I get completely distracted and spot an interesting Pin on my Follower's Board and the whole cycle begins again.  So not only have I forgotten what I came on to Pinterest for in the first place, but I've added more Pins to my ever increasing repertoire of pins that I will most likely forget that I've pinned!  Are you still with me?  Good.

And then there is the time that mysteriously disappears when I'm on Pinterest.  I swear time goes faster or someone is messing with my clock when I'm browsing the many pretty and colourful boards that entice me in to have a looksie and maybe even pin to my own boards.  No one is judging you, its just another chocolate torte recipe Lee....go on, you know you want to Pin it!  And then I suddenly look up from my laptop and realise its 2am in the morning and 4 hours have passed without me coming up for air!  Where's my Husband?  I don't remember him kissing me I look down at my stone cold cup of coffee he so kindly made me 4 hours earlier.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest.  I think it is one of the cleverest virtual pinboard platforms ever made.  But just how many of those thousands of chocolate desserts have I actually made?  And do I really think I'm going to make that gorgeous, shabby chic headboard out of old reclaimed doors?  And let's be honest, I was full of good intentions when I decided to do the 2015 52 week Savings Challenge, but I will hold my hands up and say by the time it got to saving the double digit amounts, I was terrified and couldn't save that amount of money every day!  Let's face it, I'm a Pinoholic, just not a Do-The-Pins-oholic.

So what about you?  Can you get lost for hours on end, browsing the plethora of pins on Pinterest?  Have you successfully completed a project or made a recipe from any of your many boards?  Are you strict about what you pin and give yourself a set time in which to "complete" an actual pinned idea or item?  Let me know you Pinterest secrets, I love to hear them.

Laters Gators.....Lee :)

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Belching Bovines

I just learned something today from an Article from National Geographic which completely stunned me and I felt compelled to tell someone.  So after texting my 14 year old brother and telling him, because that is the type of strange but interesting sister I am, I thought I'd come on here and tell you lot.  And yes, I may be 35 and rushing to my phone to share my strange readings of the day to my very much younger 14 year old brother.....but he has a brain like mine therefore very much understands me and my odd thinkings.

Did you know.....(now this might come as a bit of a shock, so brace yourself for this information) that 26% of the United States total Methane Emissions comes from.....wait for it..........COW BURPS!!  Yes, you read that correctly.  The smelly, methaney burps of our Bovine brethren is highly contributing to methane emissions in the USA.

This has become such a concern that Scientists are actually working on a special type of drug that can be mixed with the cow feed that will help curb the burpy bovine's belchy stench.  It's strange to think of scientists running around a field, chasing cows and trying to attach a harnesses to them that would monitor said cows burps.  I can just see them all now, crowded into the corner of a farmers field with their wellie boots and white lab coats, arms outstretched holding the "harnesses" and nervously saying "Here Bessy, Bessy, Bessy.  Come get your harness on."  The cows.....well, they are just all standing around like they normally do, nonchalantly chewing grass and burping (obviously) and randomly looking up with a sense of boredom at the crowd of cornered Scientists holding strange burp monitoring harnesses.  It's all very strange really.

And just think, millions of years from now the earth may not even be habitable for humans to live on anyway, regardless of Methane Emission and Environmental factors that we think are important now.   And that's if we as a species even get to exist into the multi-millions of years anyway.  We are youngsters in the grand scheme of things.  Why aren't we putting more money into Space Exploration, someone please tell me??  I tell you what, if my Great, Great, Great Grand nieces and nephews (times a few more Great's onto that) are anything like me........they'll be wondering why we didn't stick more funds into Space Exploration too.  They'll be laughing (or crying!) and calling us the naive idiots just as we laughed at the thought of early man banging rocks together and making flint tools to splash about like eejits in the water trying to stab fish for their dinner.  If we are lucky to span millions of years old as a species but things end up going tits up for us here on Earth either because of war, over crowding, famine, disease, environmental factors, our Sun goes kaput or a great big meteor comes down and flattens us all (where were you and your big drilling rig when we needed you Bruce Willis??)....well, we are going to have to find somewhere for us to go if we don't want to be a footnote in history.  And if this rock that we squat on isn't going to be habitable for many future generations anyway, does it really matter if the cows highly methane emitting belches are that bad?

I suppose as the intelligent race and essentially custodians of Earth, we have a duty of care and we must make the best of what we have right now and attempt to make the world we live in a comfortable place for as many future generations as we can.  But as I said, we are youngsters in Earth's timeline.  And there is nothing that says as a species we will last forever.  Look at the people of Easter Island.  They essentially wiped themselves out and it all started because they knocked down the last remaining tree on their Island.  They decimated the Island that they lived on of its natural resources which inevitably lead to their demise.  Just because we are a highly intelligent race, doesn't mean we actually "own" the planet we sit on or have a right to be here either.  We are merely renting space here.  So is it a case of preserving what we have now and do our best for the planet, for as long as we can for future generations?  Or do we just throw our hands up in the air, and say "To hell with it", do what we want, when we want because as a species, we are no different from any other life form, virus, plant or bacteria on this planet and could go extinct, just like that?  I personally think environmental issues are very real......but only to us human beings.  I think it is difficult to make plans and think we can save the planet for future generations beyond say, 100 years ahead because we actually don't know what is around the corner for us as a species or in what state our planet will be in then.  I'm not saying that we should therefore tear down every last tree and eat the last fish in the sea because we might not make it passed 100 years anyway so what is the point?  That is not what I am saying.  But, I also believe at the end of the day, Earth will essentially look after itself as it has always done, before we were here and most likely way after we are gone, whether we try to save the trees or stop polluting our oceans or switch to natural resources to heat our homes.  Really, the issues we have with the environment and finding better, cleaner, cheaper and healthier resources to power our lives is all about making our lives and existence more comfortable and pleasurable.  Earth?  Well, this planet quite frankly doesn't give a damn whether we live for the next one million years or go extinct after 100 years. This wee planet will still go about its business, doing its own thing as its always done, whether that means its a world full of volatile volcanic landscapes with seas of lava or a lush green and blue oasis filled with human beings.  We weren't always the "Blue Planet" you know.  Because we as a species, as much as we like to think we are in control, actually we are not.  We can help ourselves by not over fishing the seas or stop contributing to the Ozone layer slowly disappearing.  But these are all things we do to make our existence a little more bearable for now and the near future.  This planet will carry on in its little cycle of whatever it's bound for whether we are here or not.   And honestly, there is nothing we can do about that.  We are not in control as much as we like to think we are.  And let's face it, if history has taught us anything, its that it tends to repeat and well all I'm saying is.......have you seen any dinosaurs around lately? lol.  And just think how much they'd be contributing to methane emissions with their dino sized burps!!  Maybe it's a good thing that they went extinct because I wouldn't want to be the one trying to put a Methane Emissions Reader harness on a T-Rex!

Right, I'm away out to my back garden to start working on my space ship for exploring the stars in order to find a new home to settle on.  I'm nearly sure Blue Peter said I could make one out of a toilet roll tube, some tin foil and duct tape.

I do realise that this post is undeniably random and strange.....but I did warn you that this might happen on this blog.  This is how my mind works.  Welcome to my brain people!  You're Welcome!

Lee :)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Walk 20 miles in his/her shoes......

So, I'm sitting slurping my morning coffee, looking out my front window and wondering if the Summer is ever going to reach Northern Ireland when I see my Postman, happily whistling as he walks up our path. He stops, checks his bag one last time (he's a thorough fella, our Postman) and stuffs his delivery into the letter box in our front door and goes about his round.  My Scrubby collects the post and announces

"Nothing in the Post, its only advertising."

I tutt ungraciously replying "I don't know why he insist on stuffing our letterbox full of that crap that is only filling up our recycling bin."

So I had a rummage through the "Post".  A menu for a local takeaway that we get at least 4 times a month, a leaflet with the latest deals from a local hardware shop, a leaflet with offers at the local Spar....Ohhhh, buy 1 get 1 free on Andrex toilet rolls.....Yippee!!  But basically, what was put through my door was recycling fodder.

But then I had a thought.....My Postman had to come to our door today.......even though there was no specifically addressed post for us.  So, not only does my Postman have to get up at around 4am to start his shift for the day to deliver letters and parcels to specific addresses, but he has to then deliver advertising that will inevitably wind up in the recycling bin to houses that didn't even have post to be delivered to them in the first place!  Of course I'm sure Royal Mail gets a handsome little sum for all this advertising to be posted through every single door in my town.  But does that mean the Postman gets extra for delivering to every door?  And if they do, is it enough of a pay rise to justify getting up at 4am and delivering to every single house on a street rather than just those who actually have post addressed to them?

I am at the end of my road, so I know that that is nearly 200 houses my Postman has to deliver to.  And that's the houses I know he delivers too.  He could also deliver to the road across from me too.  So, not only does he deliver addressed letters and parcels but he or she now has to deliver to every single house whether they have addressed post or not because advertisers have paid Royal Mail to deliver their offers, menu's, leaflets etc.  And not only does my poor wee Postie have to go to every house (in the fine Northern Ireland weather)..........but I can guarantee you, that all those households that didn't in fact have addressed post that day........they sure as hell didn't want to see a load of old crappy advertising being shoved through the door!  I know I certainly don't want it.  We get plagued with the stuff.  I hate unnecessary waste and this stuff immediately goes into my recycling bin.  But I will never give off to my Postie about the "crap" stuck in my letterbox because chances are, he or she hates having to go to every single house instead of just those receiving genuine post.

And another thing Royal Mail......your price hikes are ridiculous.  And I don't care if you say you are delivering more parcels than letters now, you were more than likely going that way anyway to deliver other things.  Let's face it, f my Postman has to deliver advertising to every single household anyway, including the usual parcels and are still getting paid either way, should it be by the Advertisers, our letter postage fee or parcel postage fee and my Postie still has to deliver to EVERY single house.  So don't cry about having to deliver more parcels when you are obviously sending your Post People to every single household anyway, delivering rubbish, spam and advertisements regardless.  The Big Boys are all about keeping the Shareholders happy and boy they must be ecstatic and laughing at all of us spending almost £1 for a tiny letter!

So, next time you see your local Postie coming down your path and you want to tackle him or her to the ground for putting crap through your door, maybe consider just how far he or she has walked that day and all the unnecessary miles they've had to walk just so the Fat Cats at Royal Mail can get their year end bonuses and pat each other on the back, congratulating each other on being Masters of the Universe.

And to my local Postie.........You're the Man (or Woman)!

And any Postmen or Women out there who want to give your tuppence worth, feel free to leave a comment below.  You are all stars.  x