Monday, February 28, 2011


The polling day was on Friday. It's now Monday and somehow the votes still haven't been counted and not all the seats in the Dail have been filled. Coming from a country where you mostly find out the result within 24 hours of the polls closing, I find this incredibly hard to believe. Granted, the system in Ireland is different to the one in Finland but it taking three days to find out who's in the government is a bit ridiculous.

One thing has been established; Enda Kenny shall be the leader the country chose to walk us out of the recession. With the help of the IMF, I'd imagine, I don't think the EU is quite ready to trust the elected government with the country's finances just yet, given the track record. Ah sure it'll be alright. Or so I was told.

I supposed that remains to be seen but I can hardly imagine this bunch managing to screw the country over as thoroughly as the previous "lads". I remain optimistic, we've been to the bottom, only way seems to be up. And if things get really bad, there's always emigration. I hear Canada is nice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Let's get a little bit political for a while. The general election is only two days away, and last night saw an uproar over what I can only describe as blatant censorship of perfectly valid comments on Fine Gael's Facebook page. Not all of the questions and comments were valid and rational, I might add. There were a lot of abusive, derogatory comments, which were quite rightly removed.

However, some of the comments and issues raised on the page were promptly deleted and the users having posted them found themselves blocked from the page. And what was the issue Fine Gael was so desperate to sweep under the carpet and ignore? The Civil Partnership Bill. While it was passed last summer and is expected to take effect this summer, bringing the civil partnership few steps closer in equality to marriage, it still fails the same sex couples in relation to children. This is what most people posting comments were concerned about. They simply wanted to know what, if anything, Fine Gael was going to do to amend the Bill to include the possibility for people in a civil partnership to adopt children. Fine Gael's reluctance to tackle the subject has turned against them, big time.

What Fine Gael seems to be forgetting, they're not offending only people in same sex relationships. They're effectively alienating the friends and family of people in same sex relationships. Hands up, who has a friend or a family member who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? I'm seeing a virtual sea of hands, I really hope so anyway. The viewing of marriage as being only between men and women is antiquated and rigid. The viewing of a family unit consisting of a man and a woman and their biological children is just as old-fashioned. I whole-heartedly support same sex couples' right to adopt children, and get very very annoyed when face with the "but it's not a traditional family unit" or "they'll get bullied" or the more ridiculous comments like "they'll grow up gay". Because gay parents raise only gay children, just as straight parents only raise straight children. Oh, wait... Yeah.

Tell me, which is better for the child: to be born to a mother who doesn't want the child or doesn't have the resources to provide adequate care for the child; or to be adopted into a family who wants nothing more than love the child, provide a stable family and a loving home for the child? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. And if the family happens to consist of two men of two women or maybe two purple aliens, it really shouldn't make any difference.

People entering the process of adopting a child are in for over a year of scrutiny, courses, check-ups and psychological interviews and appraisals. They'll have people asking them the most intimate of questions, checking their finances and generally making sure and then making sure again that they're fit and capable to be trusted with a child in their care. This is a lot more than an average straight, married couple goes through when deciding to have children. Or a straight, married couple unable to conceive a child in the traditional manner.

The point I'm making is that being a fit parent has absolutely nothing to do with your sexual orientation. The only thing that matters is the fact that you're willing to take on the enormous responsibility of caring for and raising a small human into an adult. In my opinion, anyone willing to undergo the arduous and often frustratingly slow process of adoption is far more fit to be a parent than some, who are still in the eyes of this society regarded as a traditional family unit even if the family unit is riddled with substance abuse, emotional instability or any other problems. Just because they're straight and married. I'm using extreme examples here and by no means am implying that aforementioned problems are more prevalent in straight than gay relationships, I really haven't a clue. I'm only saying your sexual orientation shouldn't matter, only your capability to care for a child. For the rest of your life.

It's time for a change, and Fine Gael is clearly not the way to go.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rainy Day

It's bloody miserable out again. I can't even see out to the sea, it's so foggy. It annoys me even more, because yesterday was beautiful and sunny and actually kind of warm and I was stuck at work all day. I was doing a manual handling course in the morning (for the fourth time in five years) and after lunch I was flat-out at my actual paying job. Well, I suppose I was paid to do the course as well but seriously, how many different ways are there to lift a box correctly.

Our HR manager, who was giving the course said you only need a refresher ever 3 years. I will hold him to that come next year when they're trying to make me do the communal box lifting exercise again.

My little Mazda had to go in for its very first NCT today. I had myself convinced, after hearing all those horror stories on people failing for ridiculous reasons, that poor little Molly wouldn't pass. I got in, handed over my paperwork and 50 euro, they took my keys, I sat down, sent a few tweets and 15 minutes later we were done. Pass, pass, pass and pass. Thank you, see you in two years. I proudly stuck my NCT disc on the windscreen and drove off.

Rainy days call for comfort food. Today's offering is cinnamon buns. My mother used to bake every Saturday. Buns, biscuits, cakes and the occasional swiss roll. Smelling fresh buns hot out of the oven takes me right back into my parents' kitchen with a hot bun and a glass of ice cold milk in front of me. And it was quiet in the house because it was Saturday. My mother minded children from our home on weekdays, so the house always seemed full, even though there never were more than four children to be minded at a time. But Saturdays and Sundays I had the house and the buns all to myself.

So, this is what I made today. And for the rest of the evening, I shall be complaining about the yeast-y buns and milk expanding in my stomach causing me to look about seven months pregnant. It's all worth it, though. Just look at them.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I do not want to leave my bed behind. Mr S organised a part of me to stay behind while most of me needs to head off to work. Comedian in the making, that man is... I'll be looking forward to tonight, it's PJs on as soon as I get in the door, fire on and some quality time with my friend The Couch.

T-shirt: Hairy Baby
Socks: My mother

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sickly Sweet

Who changed the weather, please own up to it right now? I was getting all spring-y and cheery, listening to the birds singing and saying this like "Isn't it lovely and mild out?". I blink and we're hit with another bit of frost, some nice horizontal Irish rain and today icy winds teamed up with freezing cold rain and sleet. Springtime my arse.

I'm getting increasingly cranky as the wet days go on. I have been hit with a nasty bout of flu, which really isn't helping matters. I hate feeling miserable but I really am a very very bad patient. I hate feeling sick or in any way less than 100% functional, especially when I know I can do nothing to improve things. I have consumed quite the liberal amounts of paracetamol, echinacea and cough syrup but it all seems to make me more annoyed because none of it seems to be working. I did read from Dr Christian Jessen's Twitter feed that zinc has proven effective against the common cold, so off I went to buy zinc capsules. On my return I noticed that my vitamin C tablets already contained 100% of my daily zinc needs. Ho and hum.

I was feeling so cheerful until this bloody flu I wasn't even bothered about Valentine's Day and all the pink, fluffy sweetness that goes with it. Mr S and I don't "do" Valentine's. I'd love to say it's because every day is like Valentine's for us (even typing that made me be a little bit sick in my mouth) but the truth is we can't be bothered. I never saw the point anyway. In Finland Valentine's is more about your friends than your partner/lover/significant other, which I think is an idea far better than the lovers' Hallmark holiday Valentine's is in most English-speaking countries. (Anyone from somewhere else, please enlighten me on your customs.) We did share a mahoosive heart-shaped blackforest sponge on Valentine's day but that had nothing to do with romance and everything to do with us being greedy sugar monsters. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I know I've been missing in action for a while and my apologies for that. I suppose it took me longer than expected to get properly settled into the new house. But now that we're all feeling more and more at home, I must say I've been sleeping better than I have in years. It might be the open fire. And before you ask, the novelty hasn't worn off yet, I even don't mind taking out the ashes. Having grown up in a house with a huge fire on nearly every winter's night I never realised how much I had missed it.

We've had a fire on every single night since we moved in. And after turning the house into a smoke hut the first few times, I've gotten the hang of it and can actually not only light a fire and keep it lit, but can also do so without filling the house with smoke. I call that a result.

I've gotten into cooking a lot more, too. The new kitchen is perfectly proportioned for efficient cooking. Everything is at your fingertips, yet it's not cramped and there's plenty of storage and worktops. I am fully aware that I am going on about this a bit, but screw you, I'm excited to have a new house! All this cooking has come at a price, though; in the last two days I've managed to burn myself quite badly on the arm and I have split the tip of my thumb with a knife while chopping an onion for some kick-ass spaghetti bolognaise.

Right now I'm on the couch, in front of the fire with a glass of wine and visibly pregnant with a food baby. There's a gale force wind blowing outside and it's raining horizontally. Can you really blame me for not wanting to move?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Settling In

Wow, what a week! It's taken us this long to get settled in and more or less back to normal life. The first night in the new house was spent listening to our cats having a lively dialogue and trying to get used to the new noises of the house. Eventually the cats settled onto my stomach and legs but that did little in the way of putting me to sleep. I kept waking up thinking I had left the back door open, or worrying that I had forgot to set the central heating on a timer. Restless, to say the least.

We're slowly getting there, though. Finding places for all our stuff (that's not to say we still haven't got a spare room filled with boxes and bags), getting used to the bigger space and enjoying the shorter drive to work - both of us, that is.

We're particularly loving the open fire. By Finnish standards it's not really more than a glorified camp fire seeing as I'm used to a huge fireplace with, once lit, will keep slowly releasing heat into the whole house for even a day after the fire has gone out. But I'm not complaining, it's lovely to have a fireplace. I'll give it a couple more weeks until the novelty wears out and I get sick of taking the ashes out when it's so windy the ashes blow straight back into my face. But for the time being, we're loving how we're able to sit down and relax in front of a roaring fire with a glass of wine.