10/24/08

And Thats the End of That.



As per usual, its been ages since we blogged. But then, a lot has been happening I guess, perhaps its a good thing that we don't often have time to write?

Life has been ad nausium dramatic. Last week, on Wednesday, I finally tracked down my boss after eight weeks of not seeing her. Since my contract at work was up for renewal on Friday, I was pretty determined to pin her down for a chat re: visas etc. We had figured that worst case scenario with the whole situation would be that Si and I would have to marry to get me on his hosting agreement so that I could stay in Ireland - not much of a worst case scenario!! But alas, turned out that following the government budget on the tuesday, two of our biggest projects (which were commissioned by the government) had been withdrawn. Instead of the increase in work that previously justified an increase in staff, everything had turned on its tail and justified naught but a decrease in all things good - including staff. So, my contract was not to be renewed. I cried and cried and cried, making a right fool of myself but also inducing the fury of the entire environmental cohort towards the management of my role. I had two days notice.

I was gutted, though now we are planning the next step of our journey and it looks like it might just be the best thing thats happened to us. Its rather exciting not knowing whats going to happen...!!

In hindsight, I think I was fairly well taken advantage of, despite the good experience I got. I was paid minimally for three months - which I only tolerated because I was told this would be renegotiated in October. Yes, there were a whole lot of general hours clocked up, mostly because work wasnt distibuted. I was also told that it was clear by the general hours that there wasn't enough work, which begs me to wonder why I was employed in the first place.

Anyway, I was told that our office would break my spirit. It did. But now I'm moving on...

Squirrel knows where is it......



Bond, I-Want-Nuts Bond.

Dont Jump.





8/26/08

Landfill = Rubbish

As usual, I'm sleepy. I must be getting used to it now though, because at least I'm trying to write. I want to tell you about Emily, and since I've already told my story to my mamma, I thought I could be cheap and copy/paste the chunk about her.

It was another crappy day at the landfill (which is where some of my research at work is done - or was done. I never have to do it again!!). I went for a wander to calm myself down after nearly telling the guy in charge that he was a fucking dickhead (which i informed him of at a later date).

On my wander around the landfill i saw a garden in the distance. Intrigued - I approached this wee oasis and noticed there was a small one room building looking over it and a low garden fence. As i rounded the corner to see the garden in full view i nearly took myself out on the gravel. There was a two foot tall owl with yellow eyes the size of shot glasses, there were three falcons and two eagles, all harnessed with leather straps around their feet on giant perches. Took me a while to realise that they use the birds to catch and scare pests in the sky and on the ground around the landfill.

They were just sitting quietly out there in the open, 3 feet from where i was standing. Cheesy (I know), but the first thing i saw was the owls eyes, only a couple of feet away. I literally got lost in them, he terrified me. He stared straight at me and hooted a wee bit, before his eyes started to droop one by one. Poor nocturnal birdy, could barely stay awake at midday. The other birds just watched and skipped around, occasionally acted as though they were gonna rip their straps and gouge my eyes out. Just as i turned to leave, their caretaker pulled up in her ute. unable to resist, i accosted her and asked about her babies.

Turned out Mr two-foot owl was just two and a half months old. He was a shitty bastard too, refused to bond with her as he hadnt been hand reared, but reared by an irreplaceable (probably equally as shitty) mother. Birdlady aka Sam illustrated this by leaning forward to stroke him, chuckling as he did his best to sink his beak into her fist. He was beautiful though and i am terribly curious to see if he will bond with Sam - Im sure he will, as the others seem to have a very affectionate relationship with her. The falcons were particularly affectionate, and Sam invited me in to meet Emily, the biggest there, but her favourite baby. Emily climbed gingerly onto Sams bare arm to get close for a cuddle, which was no mean feat with inch long claws. She was so incredibly careful to not hurt Sam that she forced me to rethink my disinterest (often distaste) for birds. Emily stroked and combed Sams hair with her beak (babies groom the elders in their natural hunting teams) and bowed low everytime Sam turned to pay attention to her (a sign of deep respect in the wild).

Sam told me that I could touch her and pick her up if i want to, that i should just knell alongside so that Emily could see that Sam and I were friends. So i knelt, and made Sam promise that Emily wouldnt bite. She shrugged. Usually i wouldnt go near things that bite, but its not often you are sitting so close to a giant falcon who is eyeing you curiously (thats her in the picture). So I reached out my hand slowly. Emily leaned forward and climbed onto my wrist (which couldnt hold her weight, so i had to rest it on the perch), she jammed her beak under Nans ring (the one i wear on my thumb) and tried to edge it off. Giving up on that she had a very gentle nibble on my hand before giving my hair a bit of a comb. Her feathers were really soft and lovely, she let me stoke her and reacted with almost catlike beak snuggles. I spent nearly an hour and a half with Sam and the birds. Sadly they didnt get to fly because the weather was so crap. But still, it was an awesome AWESOME experience.

Sucked I had to go back to the rubbish. But still, i could blame my absence on a furthered education.

Seriously dude. Falcons are the bommmbbbb. I've been welcomed back with whomever might like the bird to check on the 'bonding'. I cant wait to meet them again!

Nom Nom

8/25/08

Cove, Queenstown, Cobh

So after a ridiculous Saturday spent doing far too little for people who still have the function of their legs (thanks Ireland weather... again!), plans were made on Sunday morning to make an effort and head out of the City. Cobh was one of the nearby attractions that has been hanging out on our list of things to do for ages. The weather was looking pretty so-so in the morning so there was pretty low expectations that we'd get away without spending most of the time inside.
First stop, the Cork Coffee Company for a morning cuppa on the way to the train station. The mid-day train was pack-o-rama with tourists and day-trippers like ourselves but we still managed to get a seat, and plenty of the travellers were heading to Fota wildlife park. The train trip was fun, quick and fairly cheap compared to taking the Bus to nearby towns, quite a breath of fresh air to be able to travel without feeling gouged for once.

Spilling out into Cobh with the rest of the travellers we wandered blindly into the main street which was suprisingly lively with a street market in full swing. It didnt take us long to wander too far into the dead-zone of town though, so we turned back and made a bee-line for St Colmans' Cathedral.

A fairly average Church by Europe standards, but impressive none the less purched on the top of a steep cliff overlooking the town and the harbour. Back to the Mainstreet and we stopped for lunch and a pint at The Quay's. Sarah had the Salmon, I had the Battered Cod. It was fairly soggy for what was described as 'crispy batter' but filled a hole none the less.

Unexpectedly while we enjoying our post-lunch pint the largest Passenger Cruise ship in the world, The Independance of the Seas arrived at the Cobh wharf (an occurance that a little prophetic considering that Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic). The entire town stopped to watch it swinging into harbour, take photos etc. I wouldn't be suprised if a good number of the people in town that day were there purely to see the big pretty ship in town (certainly the street market was hoping to cash in).

We made a quick dash back to the train station to try and escape the rush of the potential thousands of passengers suddenly swamping the town, but, like amateurs, missed the 2pm Train and had to wait another 2 1/2 hours for the next. We resigned to the fact that we should make an effort to visit the Cobh museam and read their fairly mundane poster-boards on the historic events of Cobh (The Titanic, The Lusitania and the last port of call for emmigrants during the famine). After a bit of wandering and staring with envy at the cabins on the side of the ship with balcony spa-baths, we decided that heading back to the pub for another pint while we wait was the best option to pass the time.

Some facts on the Independance of the Seas: 4300 passengers, 1360 staff, 15 decks, climbing wall, water park, ice rink, shopping street, etc etc. Looks like lots of fun but its a mystery why all the people on it were paying a minimum of 700 pounds to sail from Southampton to Cobh and back when they could pay a little extra for a 11-14 day cruise around the Med, each to their own I guess.
We took the train back, had some eats and went round to Andrea and Barbie's to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. All in all a much more productive and satisfying effort than Saturday. Next weekend Londominium!
Che' Bro
Simon

8/13/08

Castle Palooza



So its been longer than just a while since I've blogged. Its work. I promise. Its not you. Its me. Im not used to working and as lame in length as my working days are compared to Annas, they knacker me big time. Anyhow, Im working through the pain. Time for an update.


The first weekend of August was a long-weekend and true to Si and I's lack of planning skills, come friday we still had not decided what to do. There was much discussion via email between Si, Andrea and Barby (when we all should have been working) as to what festivals were on, where we could road trip and what the weather was going to be like (the latter is easy to discuss - if you say 'raining' you have a 99% chance of being right).

Friends at work were all suggesting ideas for my weekend. People always have suggestions when you are foreign and need to get a bit of 'craic up yer'. Aisling was planning on heading up to Offaly to attend the Castle Palooza festival-
which was pricy but sounded just like the kinda irish craig simon and I liked to get up to. So, tickets were booked and plans were made. After a little research, we got the dig on stuff. The festival was held on the grounds of Charlesville Castle, and the Black Seeds from back home were booked in to play. YEaaahhhhh. Sounded GOOD!


Of course we had to buy tents, pretty gumboots, airbed pumps and the whole sha bang, which was entertaining (oh, how i love to spend money), and on Saturday morning (ish-afternoon-ish) we made the four hour trek through look-alike NZ country (only minus the McDonalds - much to my hungover disappointment) to Offaly. Which sounds digusting. I never did figure out if its connected in any way to Offal.


The journey there was exhausting, long, hot (sans rain - surprisingly) and once we arrived and parked in a dodgy and very muddy paddock, we waited in a queue of drinkers for the shuttle to take us through to the castle. Finally, through all the admin, we entered the property, past the towering gates and drove through the ten minutes of ancient oak forest. It was plently enough to take my breath away, but then I always do love foreign woods. They are so different everywhere you go, particularly when you are used to NZ forest which is dense and nearly impossible to even see through, let alone walk through.


The woods here were Robin Hood, vines the size of your arm and trunks the size of your car. The giant Oak at the gates lent out branches as long and thick as its trunk and looked like something that had grown out of Alice in Wonderland. It is reputedly the oldest Oak tree in the World at 700 years old. The castle and its grounds are supposed to be some of the most haunted in the world. The Oak was the Sacred Tree of the Druids and the castle boasts its own Druid's Initiation Circle and was a sacred ritual site.

The surroundings certainly fit the claims. If anywhere were to be haunted, it would be the Charleville Castle. Luckily, crowds make anything palatable and I dont remember being too afraid at any given time (though I might have had liquid courage in my favour).

The festival was much like any other, two days and two nights of booooooooooozy boogying and camp cooking. We had a great time and the castle forever made me draw my breath. For sure the coolest thing ever was the massive haunting castle looming over the crowds and stages. It was also cool that they lit the enormous oversized fireplaces inside the castle in the evenings and people were free to toast marshmallows and drink the night away if they werent in the mood for music.

Sadly, the Black Seeds didnt make it due to one of the guys' wife going into premature labour. Typical.


Anyhow, It was definately GAS CRAIC. I'd go again, perhaps next time with a bigger group of people- which would of
course mean planning.
Whos keen??

Nom Nom

7/9/08

Contradictions in Saving the Plant



I lost a paragraph here somewhere? I wonder where that went?

Reusable fabric shopping bags that reduce plastic waste in landfills and reduce jelly-fish impersonating baggies in the sea, which might I add, cause an estimated 100,000 sea-thing deaths. Naughty bags are also made of ethylene – which is a by-product of fossil fuel production. According to Mark Watson, “bags are a menace even in the manufacture, before they start getting out and murdering turtles”. But I digress. Fabric bags are often made in China. Which means they’ve been shipped just about everywhere in the world before they get wherever they are going. Not only that, but they are made by under paid workers, who are the prime culprits for CO2 pollution. Research shows that China is one of the greatest producers of CO2 which is partly due to a large population of people living under the poverty line, lacking the financial ability to use low emission vehicles and often use DIY diesel converted engines which emit far more than a standard (but far more expensive) engine.

People are encouraged to seek out products that are sourced closest to home as possible. Here in Ireland you can negate your carbon badness when buying flowers by buying those grown in Holland, instead Kenya. Unfortunately, flowers from Holland have a greater carbon footprint than those from Kenya because of all the heating and lighting involved in their cultivation. Retailers still get away with marketing the Dutch roses as ‘guilt-free’. Contradiction? Ik denk het wel.





The Independant is the leading newspaper on climate change, although it regularly advertises for RyanAir and EasyJet. These are two airlines that make up a bulk of short-haul flights that are easily taken overland. Flights in general emit approximately 130gm CO2 per passenger, per kilometer versus approximately 60gm pp/ppkm on rail based travel. Cheap fares and regular routes are a huge contributer to CO2 emissions in Europe and the leading newspaper on climate change endourses them. Ill show you oxymoron.



Like my pervious water or electric fuel versus oil fuel. Access to water is a problem in many countries. Elecricity sourced from non-renewable resources is more common than renewable forms. Your emissions are just moved from car to elecricity source.


6/20/08

The most incredible thing...



I had coffee as usual at Depeche this morning and learnt a little tidbit that I find absolutely fascinating. Part of our discussions revolved around Humphreys desire to produce good coffee while doing his bit for the planet. This involves Fair Trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate and also organic stuff.

One such product is One Water, which is a not-for-profit company that produces bottled water. All profits received by the company go into funding water pump systems in Africa. Its all fairly typical EXCEPT that this company funds the development of systems called PlayPumps. This is such a brilliant idea...

Water is pumped from storage tanks via attached playgrounds, which are located near schools. The movement of water is controlled solely by the act of children playing.

I absolutely love this concept. Not only does it mean the act of pumping water becomes less a chore and more play, but it also provides a connection between a western world that doesn't understand the developing world. It is extremely difficult to imagine what children in these areas have to live like, its just too different for us to perceive. However, any person, anywhere, appreciates the need for children to be children and playtime is invariably what symbolises this.
In buying this water, at least I, feel a greater connection to what I'm contributing to. I understand it.

What a fantastic idea!







Heres to you One! Nom Nom!

6/18/08

You wouldnt believe what happened during Home and Away yesterday!



So, I'm gonna have to take this back...

"Don't bother with the courtesy call, don't mind that i studied for your stupid interview for 2 week, traveled half an hour to your place of business and drove myself to heart attack with your nasty technical questions in the interview. I clearly don't deserve the token of a phone call to say, 'stop waiting by your phone'."

*blush*

I didnt get the 'stop waiting by your phone' call. I got the 'I'm terribly sorry for not getting back to you earlier, but we want you to work for us undertaking the public consultation section of one of our developments'.

You have never seen me so happy :)

(Except I miss my mum and dad, otherwise totally happy :) )


Nom nom mum and dad! xxx

6/16/08

Definition: Nomnom




From: The Urban Dictionary ()

1. Nomnom

The sound effect that is made when eating. The "OM" is the chew. Alternatively Nomnom is used to describe something tasty or nutritious.

Example:
Guy: I had a big cheesy pizza for tea yesterday

Friend: Nomnomnom

Also see:

...and could I have a bowl of water for my car outside too please? Hes very thirsty, its such a hot day...






Don't get me wrong by reading this, I truly think that we are doing something great by reducing our impact on the planet. This idea also makes me feel giddy with relief that there is an alternative to oil within our grasp. However, I do feel that there are questions that need to be asked.

So it seems that some company called Genepax has developed a new car that runs solely on water. In theory, the system runs in the same way as a standard fuel cell except that it contains some mineral that breaks water down into hydrogen and oxygen.

It sounds kinda nifty. In fact, they used their flash new invention to power the lights and tv used during their media release. The on site fuel cell system pumped out 300kW/s, charging a lead-acid battery. They then chucked this monster into the back of an electric car, which was driven during the demonstration.

Apparently, they plan to produce a 1kW system to power the car in the future. They reckon they can get production costs for each car down to US$5000.

Sounds lovely. Really lovely. Except I cant help but wonder how fast this car can actually go, and how much water it chews through. Unfortunately, none of these details were released.

I guess they would have to be better off than those old chip-fat converted engines that stunk and were pushing themselves at 20km an hour.

Simon and I were also discussing the pitfalls of the all-amazing bio-fuels that encouraged poorer countries who were producing the sugarcane and whatnot to sell it to the western world instead of keeping the stuff as food for the hungry.

Better. But maybe not perfect? If everyone was feeding their cars 10 liters of water a day, themselves a liter a day and their gardens and bathtubs even more, what happens to poor old Australia? New Zealand in a hot summer? Black outs and vehicle free days. That might work in London, but in Auckland you can't even find a bus without driving half an hour to the nearest park and ride, even then you would be lucky to be able to get on! In our traffic-jams, the sheer amount of water vapor produced by a water-fed battery would contribute to global warming just as much as petrol. Imagine the humidity.

Given the lack of details re: the eco-car, my extrapolations might be totally offbeat. But fark. I still think you might be digging a deeper hole if you went on to protect the planet from global warming (of which I am still skeptical (please read: Global Warming and Global Cooling: Evolution of Climate on Earth*))and the exhaustion of the global oil stocks (of which there is still no evidence, gosh, I wonder who buried the truth?) by forcing the poor to sell their only food stock for a pittance and forcing dry countries to feed very thirsty cars.

Prey tell, who exactly is benefiting from this disaster?

* Global Warming and Global Cooling: Evolution of Climate on Earth by O.G. Sorokhtin (Author), Leonid F. Khilyuk Ph.D. (Author), G.V. Chilingarian (Author).

(Recommended to me by the Environmental Engineering professor at University College Cork)

Editorial Reviews

"A fascinating tour-de-force of earth history . . . the main strength of the book is that it provides a comprehensive integrated model of the Earth and its climate. Individuals may question different aspects of the model. That is a positive aspect, however, as it will promote discussion and further research, resulting in a better understanding of the Earth and its climate." -- Alfred H. Pekarek, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Cloud University

The theory of the Earth's climate evolution based on universal chemical-physical laws of matter-energy transformation is presented in the book. It shows how the process of Earth's core separation has led to formation and evolution of the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Having analyzed the processes of heat transfer in the atmosphere, the writers developed the adiabatic theory of the greenhouse effect, which was applied for analysis of climatic changes on the Earth. The influence of changes in climate on formation of mineral deposits and development of life on Earth was considered and presented based on modeling of typical climatic regimes. It shows that the anthropogenic effect on the Earth's global temperature is negligible in comparison with the effect of global forces of nature.

* Presents the theory of Earth's evolution based on the laws of chemical-density differentiation of the origin of the Earth
* Discusses the adiabatic theory of the greenhouse effect with quantitative estimates of the natural and anthropogenic influences on Earth's climates
* Describes the quantitative description of the evolution of the Earth's climate throughout geologic history and prediction of the future of the Earth's climate
* Investigates the global forces of nature driving the Earth's climate





For more info see:
June 16, 2008 09:59 AM - www.fuelcelltoday.com

ahh home....



This morning I got an email from my sister.. it said:

'are you there?'

RE: 'are you there?'
Uh.....yes?

'Laughing- what do you mean Uh... yes?'

'I'm here. Are you there?'

'Yes! I am here! I wanted to tell you
- thought you already knew (as thought Mum and Dad had told you) but just didn't want to talk about it (which would be
understandable) although now M&D told me that they didn't tell you (blah
blah blah blah blah...)-'

You can see my heart racing all over those black and white lines. Its funny, how everything goes blurry and in the second it takes to read over the following line, you've changed it in your head to say just about anything you don't want to read.

I was seeing...

'I meant to tell you, well, I'm pregnant.'
'I meant to tell you, well, we are moving back to New Zealand.'
'I meant to tell you, I hate your guts and Ive changed my name so I don't have to be your sister anymore.' - I kinda relaxed then. She already changed her name to Campbell. I'm pretty sure she did that cause she loves her husband - not because I'm her sister.

Gave me the guts to read what it really said though...

'- we are going home in a couple of weeks - just for
a week.'

Well thats a relief! My heart is still racing...

Of course, it doesn't bother me at all that I didn't know, why would it? I explained to Anna that as much as I would LOVE to pop home for a visit, I'm busy trying to extract myself from this insanely large piece of gum I've got myself stuck in. I'm fully aware that the only escape from this sticky situation is to push and pull and scream really loudly until I get what I want.

Which is, incidentally, to get stuck in a new piece of gum called work. That gum would have to be tree gum though, being the corporate hippie that I am. And not Kauri gum either, because that would mean going home. Gosh, this analogy could go on forever.



It gets me thinking though, particularly after a weekend of thinking about home a lot.

I talked to dad on Sunday morning and it was lovely. Its been a while, I wanted to skype with good news about my last job interview but as there is still no news and I hadn't seen him for ages, I sucked it up and called. It does funny things to a girl away from home, you know, seeing daddy's smiling face and hearing him laugh. It warms my tummy.

I would have thought seeing him would make me homesick. In a way I guess it did, but at the same time, if I went home I might as well admit this country did me in. It beat me at my own game. I fully intend to force myself on these people so I don't want that.

Instead, it reminded me that no matter what happens, home is always there and will always be my little bubble of unconditional happy times. I only get those when I deserve or need them.

Dad also reminded me that I am actually in a fantastic place, which is true, with 'the one' which is also true. I love dat one. nom nom.

Anyway, I'm pleased with the way I've tidied home away into a little box and made it my reward for doing well. That means, by December, I will have to have made something out of myself!

Nom Nom!

P.S.

I Applied for this job 4 months ago... That is some SERIOUS consideration! Took me about an hour to figure out who the hell it was from...!

Dear Sarah

Thank you for taking the time to submit an application to URS for position number URS24399.
After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that on this occasion, you have not been short-listed for an interview.

If you have applied for other positions at URS you will be notified of the outcome when your application has been assessed with specific reference to each individual role.

We will also keep your resume on file and be in contact should any other position become available that suits your experience.

In the mean time, we encourage you to review and apply for any other vacancies advertised on our website https://www.urs.eu/local/careers/

We wish you every success in the future.

Sincerely,
URS Human Resources Ireland






6/13/08

Cafe Depeche and a taste from home...



I love our coffee place. Its right across the river from the sushihouse and I take my book there every morning and drink Corks best coffee (sometimes its right up there with the Altura standard). Lately the weather has been very agreeable, when the sun shines, it SHINES, the rest of the time its pretty warm but almost always threatening rain. Still, its lovely to sit outside, and fun too, when I only have to take my seat by the door at Cafe Depeche and know my coffee will be in front of me in seconds without my having to even speak. Always with the cheerful smile from the lovely Canadian Valarie or the educational food and coffee banter of Humphrey, the owner.

Over my first few months here, Humphrey, Si and I went about showing the Irish ways with the 'Flat White'. Before long, Humphrey had produced a coffee rivaling those I consumed feverishly during my dissertation. Within days, every employee at the establishment knew, under Humphreys instruction, that should either my or Simons face appear, the new 'Flat White' must be made with the precision demonstrated by himself.

Before too long, new menu boards appeared with our Southern Hemisphere specialty carefully printed at the bottom...


Ah, a taste from home....

Nom Nom

6/12/08

Alley News






Today folks, we are hoping to catch a glimpse of the notorious but rare, urinator. Typically, this species frolics in quiet back alleys, searching for spots to mark as his own. Occasionally, this act of marking territory can cause trouble among other local urinators and often, typical of urinator seasonal patterns, warm saturday nights become alley way brawls as gaggles of urinators battle over territory...

AWWW CRICKEY! heres one now!!!! awww wowwww, look at 'im goooo....

Positive correlation discovered between number of oriental foodstuffs and issues faced by potential foreign employees






What is it about Ireland that means everything has to be either badly done, or not done at all? Simon and I have been here at the Sushihouse for 5 months, but we still don't have any TV (other than the local channels we pick up with the laptop) or any telephone. Not that this bothers me too much, I still dont like TV much and Si and I get some good cards, scrabble and, as of yesterday, Mah-Jongg in.

What REALLY gets up my goat, however, is the fact that, I am gripping my cellphone, heart racing, a week on from my last interview, with no word yet. From experience, I know they may never call.

They just don't do that here. True to Irish style, if you aren't 'the one' matrix-ish, you might as well just bugger off.

Don't bother with the courtesy call, don't mind that
i studied for your stupid interview for 2 weeks,
traveled half an hour to your place of business and drove myself to heart attack with your nasty technical questions in the interview. I clearly don't deserve the token of a phone call to say, 'stop waiting by your phone'.

I'm getting used to it, I think. I also think that I'm having trouble getting a job for the same reasons sushi joints go out of business in this town. There is something very sccaarrrryyyy about things that are different....

Thats right, I'm terrifying folks.

Nom Nom for now.

6/11/08

Simon says...




Yo Sushi, Angel, London.

$150 NZ lunch for four.

Nom Nom's Lobby - Please remove your shoes before entering the building.



I love our apartment. Its light, airy and super comfy. Its little, but for us its the perfect size. Not two weeks ago, someone was filming a movie right beneath our lounge room window in the alley bellow (we are on the second floor). Simon and I stayed up through the night watching them cast spooky lights with their weird umbrellas and slide the camera along on makeshift train tracks. It was all interesting, and true to the dodginess of our alleyway, the movie was about prostitutes. There they were, fishnets and all, guzzling vodka from hip flasks picking up dudes as we and the cameras looked on.

So you can see, delightful as our apartment is, the dodgy alley beneath provides equally awesome daily entertainment. Generally in the form of hobos, drunkards and thieves, though, film crews are far less common.

Last Wednesday, in broad daylight, I enjoyed watching my morning coffee drama unfurl. Yer man, Irish langer, raced into the alley clutching the zipper on the front of his white and blue leisure suit. After catching his breath and having a quick look around, he determined he was indeed alone (the joy of our window, is that no one ever thinks to look UP). From his leisure suit, he pulled out a Chernobyl Kids fundraising box. He proceeded to throw the box against the brick wall with everything he had in him (which included jumping as high as possible and then falling over). He must have done it 50 times before I thought to film it, in case I got some of his face and could forward it to the Gardai. I didn't get anything exciting, but it was indeed ten minutes of filthy entertainment. Funny, he left most of the coins in the alley.

Ah well, he was better than the other 10 langers a day that pee freely in the alley, the few that pass out on the neighbors stairs and the ones that rock back and forth dribbling.

Welcome to Nom Nom Sushi House

video

Sushi House 101

.
Well. Finally, Si and I have set up a blog. Which almost seems a wee redundant in the days of Facebook and the like. But we figure its an easy way for people to keep with with whats going on over here (should anyone be interested!). Sushihouse seemed fitting, given the apartment from which we write is home to the only sushi fun in town. Who, seriously, WHO does NOT eat sushi?! It seems, here in Cork, that the only sushi you can get is phallic, soggy logs of fishy sludge from a school boy in a while tent every Tuesday (or is it Thursday?) on UCC campus. Even I, weighing in at 7 kilos more than usual due to the lack of my daily sushi lunch, refuse to so much as try the free taster. As I hyperventilate, trying to get over the lack of whats important here (sushi), I recognize the need to get back to the point.

Blogs.

I realise that blogs are abundant. Ad nausium. But this one will be different. This one is as much for my sake as it is for yours. Here is my sanity, in tidy black letters on a green screen. Here also is where you will find out if (when) I get a job (still holding my breath, surprised I haven't suffocated yet!). Here you will read about what Si and I are up to round and abouts on this Euro mission. No doubt, in true Sarah style, you will also read about any number of 'blond ponders' I tend to have throughout my days. For this, I apologise in advance. Sorry. Anyways, onwards and upwards. I'm sure I'll be writing soon, if not in the next couple of seconds.

Nom Nom