Sunday, December 31, 2006
Apologies for the radio silence. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, when Sean and Shona get off the island.
Much fun so far. Swimming. Eating. Drinkies. Pao de Cac.
And of course: Beyonce!
"To the left, to the left...."
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The islands across the water at the end of my road were a myriad of blues this morning. Often you can't see them at all; they seem to come and go as they please.
The codebreakers came in for wine and Carols from King's; their radio reception is poor, so they took me up on the offer of listening via the Beeb website. I find it strange that people who worked alongside Alan Turing and the Colossus would be so wary of a laptop, but there you go. Mr C went up to King's College in 1943, and hearing the service evokes a whole lot of emotions and memories for him and Mrs C. It was a lovely afternoon.
And so on to Christmas Eve evening...
Being the youngest in the family has its pros and cons. I loved being the youngest on Christmas Eve, because it meant that I was the one to light the Christmas Candle, which burned in the window all evening.
My niece Molly is a couple of minutes younger than her brother Jack, so she's in charge in Dublin tonight.
Remember, never leave candles or 17-month old kidlets unattended.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Mrs Codebreaker was in (bearing avocados) to discuss the Christmas meal. My big idea was that I'd make my Baileys White Chocolate Mousse, and invite Mr & Mrs C in for dessert. Somehow this has changed to me going in to them for the whole xmas dinner. Apparently there's nothing I can do to help.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The greatest asset I think for this island is the people - they add more to the charm of the place than anything else. Their friendliness and help when one is trying to stumble through a Portuguese sentence is remarkable.
Now of course, visiting a daughter can be a risky business, especially when one has just acquired the title of author. I have to keep on my toes now going around with a celebrity!! Course that's easy to do, when one is sipping martinis, wine, and anything else you care to mention - you eventually end up in a hazy glow.
Anyway, I've sort of managed to live with the success while keeping my head down and my ear to the ground. One shudders to think what life will be like for Orlaith when she hits the big time. We'll have an egg-head on our hands, but I've dealt with that before!!!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Had a funny Saturday evening: me and a florist running up and down the street on our mobiles, trying to say enough words in the other's language to communicate our position. I really should make more of an effort to learn Portuguese.
Thanks for the gorgeous flowers Sean and Shona!
Did some tidying up of the blog - added in photos from last week, and posted the last blog from Hong Kong, which I found loitering in the draft folder. That's one area of my life that is neat!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
So it turns out the 4 cable guys never moved or touched a cable last week (hrumph - they earned their wages that day). When Landlady contacted them, they said "Wasn't there a German going around cutting cables that day?"
Which led to more gossip on GPM: he didn't like the position of some streetlight opposite the building, and kept cutting the cable; twelve years ago he had a big fight with a resident here, went up on the roof and poisoned his water supply; and this very week he's been messing around on the roof again...
So Internet Man came over last night, and checked the connections outside. He was suspicious of tampering. They're sending out someone with a special machine. Dun dun dunnnnn...
Photos from our trip to Porto Moniz:
- Life-size nativity scene, which brought to mind that great scene with Kevin Bacon in Diner.
- Massive piggy with melon - no idea.
- Buffy-style stake made from laurel wood; they cook scrummy kebabs called espedata on them. The scent of laurel infuses the meat - fabulous.
- Chocolate martini. Through an elaborate charade routine, I convinced a waitress who spoke no English to make one for me.
- View from the room.
- Mom shkittering.
- A moment when we had hijacked a bear from one of the Christmas displays.
- Mom being a sweetie.
- Fabulous vodka & lemon cocktail - I lived on these. Yum!
It was a really beautiful setting :)
Friday, December 15, 2006
Well the results of the short story competition are out, and I´m getting a fish knife!! I am thrilled to bits. Surprised, and thrilled. Yippee!!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Pretty heavenly actually.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Well, the day was filled with more than that, but broadband went down the second I was pressing ´publish´eight hours ago. Now I´m in the lobby of a hotel on the north coast of the island, and the memory of Santa is all that remains...
We saw him again later on in the day, doing a three-point turn in the main street. Everyone was pretty laid back about it. Ho ho ho.
Days later: photos added, including me trying one of mom's ciggies...
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
You can always tell if someone's going to love the whole Preacher series: you just give them the first page and see how they respond. People are either highly offended by the language, content and general sensibility, or else they find it hysterical. Not much room for grey. Mom loved it.
It seems HBO is backing a production of the entire series. I wonder how much interest the US censors will take; Preacher makes The Sopranos look kinda like The Smurfs...
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
We had a great night in 'Happy Valley' at the races the other night. Obviously didn't win a bean, but enjoyed it all the same. It's quite bizarre being at a very lush race-course in the middle of Hong Kong. Anyway it's a must-do if you visit. The other thing which you have to do while in HK is have a massage or two if you have time. We managed two sessions. Can I tell you my knee-caps have never been so well massaged before...ever. The rest of me is pretty relaxed too!
The other highlight was eating in a 'private kitchen'. This was basically a room with about four tables at the back of this tiny shop open onto the street. They were selling everything from fake handbags (not very goods ones!) to toilet paper in the shop and serving the most delicious thai food in the back. Orlaith the food was so cheap, it was like stealing!
I reckon it's post-traumatic stress from having to star in Shamu the yankee doodle whale.
One of my fish has 'made the transition'. Little Stumpy is alive and well, and now has a new friend.
Thanksgiving. To talk about Thanksgiving day we must first start with the day before, which is the busiest Bar night here in the States. Thanksgiving is always on the 3rd Thursday of November, which means you don't have to work the next morning so you can put on a good drunk before you have to see your family the next day. Wednesday night is the night me and my friends get together each week and drink anyways so it works out really good.
Anyway after work we all meet up at our hangout. The bartender is a friend and we can drink all night for a few bucks. So we drink and talk about how lousy our week had been. Mine had been pretty good having shot a 7pt. Buck earlier that week so I had to tell the story over and over.
After having enough beer it was time to go home and sit in the Hot tub and have a couple more beers. After the Tub, it's time to see if the wife is feeling frisky, I brush my teeth and head to bed and notice the wife had already passed out, With nothing to be thankful for I lay down. Then I forget a friend from Chicago wants to crash at my house for the weekend, so I have to get up and unlock the door. Now it's time for bed. Wake up around 8 A.M., with the wife snoozing away, I lay there trying to let the wife sleep. 9 A.M. the wife stirs and wakes, and after rolling around the sack we get up being much more thankful. Walkout to the living room to see my friend Joe and our dog Chyla curled upon the couch.
So we get the coffee brewing and the bacon cooking, then it's out to the tub with the coffee, This is normally a weekend treat, so lounging on a Thursday morning is all the better. After the tub it's time for some bacon and eggs, another weekend treat. Being Thankful for my full belly it's time lounge on the couch and watch Football (The American kind). On a normal Thanksgiving day I have to make 2-3 stops with a Turkey meal at each, But this year we only have 1 stop which is great.
Anyway after showers we head off to dad's for the meal. Instead of the normal turkey we are having steaks and chicken on the grill. My stepmom has MS and is not supposed to live out the month, so the big meal was not such a good thing. Anyways she seems happy to see us, which makes the day a little better. We drink some beers with dad and watch our Football team lose again then it's time to go deer hunting. I won't go into the ins and outs of deer hunting, because this is already getting long. Anyways my wife goes out to her treestand, Joe and me sit in my dad's stand and my dad sits on the ground.
So, deer hunting you just sit there until the unlucky animal walks underneath your stand and you shoot it. Well it's not quite that easy, anyway Denise is the only one that sees anything and it doesn't come in close enough to get a shot. So when it gets dark we say goodbye to Dad and it's time to start drinking with the food fully settled. We go home, get comfortable and drink, drink and do some more drinking, about 11 PM after 2 1/2 bottles ofwine, the wife heads to bead and me and Joe watch Old School for some laughs, after that it's time for bed myself, another Thanksgiving in the books.
Oh I forgot to mention the Filming, I'm currently making a movie, kinda a cross between The Postman and 9 1/2 weeks, anyway in between watching Football and showers we filmed a scene with the deer I shot earlier inthe week. Just a short scene with me dragging it down the hill.
A boy, a girl, a slaughtered carcass... thanks Art!!