Sunday, January 23, 2011

Galway United

I bought a season ticket for my local football team Galway United today. Really really looking forward to the new season which kicks off March 4th. I used to go to United matches years ago with the lads, before Neen and I met but I haven't been to one since. I was talking to the manager Sean Connor and a couple of the panel today, extremely nice guys. I wish the entire team the best of luck this season.

My cousin Mark bought a ticket today too, he's a huge Galway United fan and it's going to be great going to the games with him. Mark plays football for Renmore F.C (rugby and hurling for his school) and is a super talented kid. I've no doubt he could be playing for Galway United or one of the big English teams in a few years. 

Well I have my Galway United shirt and a brand spanking new season ticket. After last seasons near-relegation scare I'm all set for a clean start and a great season...bring on St. Pat's

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Moment

I was working in the dining room today. It's a perfect spot to write on sunny afternoons as the light beams directly through the window and illuminates the room for a few special hours each day.

There was this one perfect moment where time seemed to stand still. I'll set the scene.

I'm typing. Sunlight bounces confidently off the polished dining room table. Music trickles through the thick padded earpads of my DJ style headphones. To my left the terrapins are basking, eyes closed on their floating island. Necks stretched high and proud the glistening, water tickles their toes. Directly in front of me, sitting on the window sill is Hope the cat. She catches my intrusion and for a split second stares back before returning to her world. Sora is sleeping below her on a dining room chair. Hidden behind several white tiers of drying laundry I can only see her tail. It's a deceptively frosty day outside and the radiator is throbbing wearily, cocooning both the cats and clothes in a steaming pocket of heat. The music continues to flow, quietly and perfectly as both the moment and song eventually ebb away.

I quickly jotted down the following poem in a desperate attempt to capture the moment before it was gone forever.

Sun gleaming.
Brothers vying.
Cats dreaming.
Morpheme tying.
Clothes steaming.
Shadows dying.

Writin', Leapin' and Treckin'

Hi guys! I haven't been doing any bloggin' recently, owing largely to the fact that I have been spending 7 hours a day on an actual writing project. After a day staring googily-eyed at the screen, the last thing one wants to do is write about the experience. : )

Neen and I watched the last episode of Quantum Leap tonight. She has been hugely enjoying the recently borrowed box-set, however I get the distinct feeling she was annoyed, if not a smidge dispirited by the ending. I personally liked the episode, but I understand her disappointed. Neen has been waiting years to find out how Sam's journey ends. Since childhood in fact. In her mind the perfect ending was already written, nothing the show's writers came up with could never have satisfied everyone. Luckily a new movie is being penned by original series scribe Don Bellisario. At least that's something to look forward to. While the original cast members Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell will not reprise their respective roles, they will take part in the production in some facet or another.

Coincidentally I too am nearing the end of a box set. I have been watching All 7 series of Star Trek the Next Generation since last May. I am nearing the end at all all to hasty pace. Only a couple of episodes left...'heavy sigh'! Luckily I have the first 3 series of Star Trek Deep Space 9 (which I have never seen) to move on to so the sense of loss and abandon will be short lived.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Night

Christmas night after leaving Mary and Nathan's house Neen and I dropped out to Nanna and Pop O'Toole's house in Menlo. The entire Irish family was there...I swear this room is shrinking...

Wrapping paper was flying everywhere...

The greatest gift anyone can give a teenage boy...a 24 pack of Coke!

My Godson Ethan building the Lego set we gave him.

Stacy, myself and Neen

Nanna and Pop O'Toole

My sisters Milo and Genny and my cousin Andrew

Neen and my cousin Mark wearing the new jersey we gave him.

Neen and Stacy

Ethan and Me

Stacy and myself answering questions in an activity book she was given.

Christmas Dinner

For Christmas dinner, Neen and I as well as my Mom, Dad, and my sisters Genny and Milo went to my Aunt Mary's. These are socks Tuna, Neen's little sister gave me. She bought me a pack of  5 and got to choose which ones I'd wear Christmas day...she picked the yellow ones! : )

Neen looking pretty...

The dining room table in Mary and Nathans house!

The Christmas Feast!!

My favorite parts of the meal were Mary's red cabbage and her white chocolate cheese cake! My only regret being I only had room for one slice of cheese cake!

My sister Milo and me!

Myself, Milo and Dad...

Nanna, and Mom...

Aunt Mary, the hostess! : )

Genny thinkin' about her boyfriend Graham...

As a special surprise Neen and I bought a second Chinese Paper Lantern to release with the O'Briens too. As we did with Neen's family the night before everyone inscribed on the lantern their Christmas wishes and Nanna and I released the glowing orb into the night sky. No one there had ever seen nor released a lantern before so the whole event was greeted with giddy excitement by young and old alike. We  initially gathered in the back garden but as the lantern started to ascend out of sight the entire party ran through the house towards to front door to capture one last look. Every loved the experience and it's one we will never forget!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning Neen woke me up early at about 6:30 and guess what? Santa did come! He also left the sitting room in a bit of a mess. Snowy footprints all over the place...tut tut! : ) He very kindly left a tin of tuna for Sora and a tin of Salmon for Hope. Before continuing on his way he also filled our stockings with sweets and  gobbled the milk and cookies we left out for him.

Tired and groggy, with the TV glowing in the background Neen and I then exchanged cards and gifts...I bought her a Rocha John Rocha leather handbag, 'A Nuns Story' starring Audrey Hepburn on DVD, wool, ribbon, buttons, thread and other bits for her sewing box, red pajamas, a wedding album filled with all of our wedding photos and a Gold Sapphire Ring. I think the ring and the wedding book were her favorites and the biggest surprises. The ring is based on the Princess Diana/Kate Middleton engagement ring which Neen fell in love with the minute she saw it. As for the wedding album, up 'til that point as much as Neen wanted to we hadn't gotten around to putting one together! Neen gave me....

A portable DVD player because my old one is years old and buggered from over use.
Super Mario All Stars 25th Anniversary Edition for the Nintendo Wii! This collects all four original Mario games for the NES and SNES. This is cool for a couple of reasons. As a kid I never owned a Nintendo, actually I didn't own any computer game console until well into my teens. I loved the original Super Maro games but only got the chance to play them, albeit briefly at my friends house. Now years later I finally get to! The second cool thing is this. When Neen was a kid Santa brought her a Nintendo and Super Mario Brothers 3. SMB3 was literally the only game she ever owned. She loved it and played it over and over and over. 19 years later to the day she first played Super Mario Brothers 3 the two of us played it together.

Neen loves Chanel and one day while in Boots we stumbled across this. Bleu de Chanel. Neen loved it and immediately sprayed me from head to toe with it, practically leaving the tester dry. I'm definitely not one for most colognes and after shaves but this I really liked. Coolest thing about it is the bottle. Really beautiful design and wait for it...magnetic lid! Yep hold the cap above the nozzle and the lid snaps smoothly into place!
Iron Man 2 on DVD

An Oral B electric toothbrush, which I love and have really wanted for years!

and Toy Story 3 on DVD!

Thanks ya and I love my gifts!

Christmas Eve (Day 24)

Countdown to Christmas (Day 24)

It's been a tradition in our house the past few years that if Neen was working Christmas Eve or Christmas day I'd wake up extra early with her and make her a special breakfast. It might not sound like much of a big deal but I am not an early bird at all, and Neen was due to be in work for about 7:30am.  

So that's what I did, Christmas Eve  I woke up early and while Neen was getting ready I made her breakfast. Nothing fancy, just what she wanted...corn flakes with chopped banana, orange juice, tea and potato farls. We then walked together as far as the end of our hill. Neen continued on to work and I returned home alone.

When I got in I set up the couch, turned on the TV and watched some Christmas cartoons and had a snooze. Later on I fed the cats and turtles, had some breakfast, wrapped a couple of last minute presents and as per another Christmas Eve tradition went outside and took some frosty photos. Sora joined me too and was truly in her element running around in the snow, skidding back and forth following me everywhere I went.

Neen came home at about 5pm. I made us a small bite to eat, we gathered our bags and headed out to her families house in Renmore, dropping into her Nanny Gills along the way.

Old Irish Christmas tradition....The Pile Up!

Neen started it...

Ant and I watching TV.

Neens mum and dad making preparations for the following days Christmas dinner.

Ben watching in eager anticipation!

Next up we exchanged gifts...

Ben insisted on getting involved with this tradition too!

Together as a family we then read 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C Moore, this particular version illustrated by the talented Christian Birmingham. We each read a page at a time and passed it around the room until the closing lines. You really can't have Christmas without rereading Moore's master work.

Next up Tuna read to us all, a second book. 'Another Night before Christmas'  a modern retelling of the classic tale by Mark Boutavant and Carol Ann Duffy. This is a truly beautiful book, one of my favorites and Tuna did a simply wonderful job reading it aloud to us all. 

Before Neen and I went home, one final festive treat. I brought up a Chinese paper lantern and as a family we each wrote messages of hope, love and peace on the lantern and together released it into the foggy night sky. Despite the fog we were able to watch it for miles as it rocketed into the darkness. I wonder if Santa saw it on his travels...

When Neen arrived home to a cold house we turned on the heating, fed the cats, cuddled up on the couch and watched 'A Muppet Christmas Carol' before going to bed in anticipation of Santa's arrival.